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Hybridizer Louis Benoît Van Houtte (1810-1876)

Ghent, Belgium

Louis van Houtte in The GardenFilm


Intermediate Bearded: 'Clarissa', 'Judith', 'Lady Seymour'.

Japanese: 'Gabielle De Nocker'.

Miniature Dwarf Bearded: 'Holbein', 'Salvator Rosa',

Siberian: 'Lactea', 'Nigrescens'.

Species: 'Chamaeiris Alba', 'Iberica Van Houtteii',

Tall Bearded: 'Augustina', 'Britannicus', 'Chenedolle', 'Gédéon', 'Haydee', 'Hortense', 'Lavandulacea', 'Marmora', 'Mary Minanelle', 'Mozart', 'Muta', 'Sans Souci', 'Sylvie', 'Tendresse'.


The Garden vol.9 1876----"The late Louis Van Houtte was not only a great nurseryman and the founder of what was considered the most important establishment of its kind in Europe; he was also an enthusiastic lover of plants for their own sake; and a man who in many ways was a benefactor to his profession. His establishment has long been regarded as the best of its kind, not only in Belgium but also on the Continent, affording, as it did, employment for about 200 persons, and doing business not only in Europe, but also largely in North and South America, China, and Japan. Some idea of the extent of business done here may be gleaned from the fact that about 500,000 plants of camellias alone were disposed of every year from this nursery. Remarkable among specialities were palms, and new seedling azaleas, fine-foliaged and gesneraceous plants, among which were some fine hybrids. One of M. Van Houtte's earliest attempts at hybridising was crowned with success, the result being the brilliant gladiolus gandavensis, together with some very beautiful cross-bred seedling alstroemerias, of the beauty of which the late Dean Herbert spoke most enthusiastically at the time; and, as is well known, many lovely varieties of azalea mollis have been originated in his establishment. One of his latest successes in this way was the production of bertolonia Van Houttei, one of the most beautiful of all melastomads, and an acquisition of which he might well be proud. He energetically followed up the introduction of new plants from the tropics, and it is interesting to find that one of the most successful of all modern collectors, M. Benedicts Roezl, was brought up in M. Van Houtte's establishment, which was a good school for young gardeners, being remarkable for its completeness in all departments. Not only were plants raised here and sent to all parts of the world by the thousand, not only were catalogues and descriptions of them prepared, printed, and sent out, but one of the most beautiful and useful of all serial horticultural works was edited and the coloured plates prepared under M. Van Houtte's personal supervision. This work has reached its twenty-second volume, and contains 2,260 plates, about the same number of woodcuts or lithographic etchings, and about 4,500 articles and notes on plants and other horticultural subjects. From the original drawing to the last printing from the stone and final touching up by hand, these beautiful plates were finished in the nursery, a long corridor-like building being fitted up with tables, presses, and other apparatus for the use of artists and printers. Coninued at Louis van Houtte in The Garden
Before Van Houte: From Les Iris Cultivés (1923, E. Krelage, p. 56)

"The iris of some importance following Jacques's collection was iris Belgica or Vandewilli, probably a seedling of a Belgian amateur, Monsieur Parmentier, around 1830. Iris belgica described by Jacques in Annales de Flore et de Pomone in March 1833 shows an affinity with the iris variegata and is distinguished by yellow standards and darker red falls."

-- Main.RPries - 2012-05-18

  • Iris Vandewilli - engraving by Curtis:
    J4 NCL vandewilli b.jpg
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Image 21 Louis Van Houtte, from The Garden 1876.jpgjpg Image 21 Louis Van Houtte, from The Garden 1876.jpg manage 1 MB 22 Aug 2019 - 18:09 BobPries  
J4 NCL vandewilli b.jpgjpg J4 NCL vandewilli b.jpg manage 360 K 27 Oct 2021 - 08:26 PascalJordan Iris Vandewilli - engraving by Curtis
LVanHoutte.jpgjpg LVanHoutte.jpg manage 110 K 10 Dec 2015 - 17:24 BobPries From the Garden
Topic revision: r19 - 19 Feb 2022, Pamina
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