Translated to English from the original German by Werner Wallner

No. 35 1857
Allgemeine Gartenzeitung.
(General Garden Newspaper)
Edited by
Professor Dr. Karl Koch,
General secretary of the association for improvement of horticulture in the countries of the Prussian Kingdom

Content: The Bouché Nymphaea Hybrids at Borsig Garden in Moabit near Berlin. By Professor Dr. Karl Koch. -- The potato from Algiers. By Superior Gardner Reuter in the national nursery garden near potsdam. -- 357. and 358. Meeting of the association for improvement of horticulture 26. July to 30. August. -- Book review: The ferns of Great Britain and Ireland by Thomas Moore. -- The latest plants by Linden. -- Sale of plants and conservatories in Paris

Image from Flore des serres et des jardins de l’Europe
Gand, L. van Houtte, 1854-1855

The Bouché Nymphaea Hybrids
at Borsig Garden in Moabit near Berlin.

By Professor Dr. Karl Koch.

Those lovers of plants and flower lovers who come now to Berlin should not miss visiting the Borsig Garden at Moabit. Even though it has at every time of the year its special beauty and is really distinguished from other gardens of this kind, it provides now and in the remaining time till autumn a special delight, that we won't find elsewhere on the continent or in England and Scotland. Certainly there will be few owners of gardens that have the means to create a garden like this one.

For there are basins of delightful shape in the center of the garden (which itself is situated close to the Spree River on one side) that receive their water from the iron factories nearby. The same water, which man made himself servable there, in order to give to the hard iron arbitrary forms, serves here now to give lovely flowers a home. Since it comes directly from the steam boilers and has to run just a short way, it still has a temperature 40 - 50 degrees Remure when it arrives at the basins mentioned before. The owner has put gold fish into the water, that are in perfect condition and prefer to stay in the middle of the basins where the water flows in. There are also several Nymphaeas in the basins, mainly hybrids that were received from crossings of Nymphaea rubra and N. lotus by the Inspector of the Botanic Garden, Karl Bouchè.

I advise everyone who wants to enjoy this rare delight (which he won't find at any other place as mentioned before) to travel early to Moabit, so that he will be there around 10 a.m. If you arrive later, the flowers will close one by one until around noon they will have all hidden their splendid interior to the view of the visitor. Though if you did choose the right time, you probably won't be able to imagine anything more beautiful and splendid than those hundreds of flowers in all shades from pure white to the most beautiful red and violet, surrounded by leaves in joyful green and pleasantly shaped. One might get the impression as not to be any longer in the harsh North, but of being taken to the home of the Lotuses at the banks of River Nile and River Ganges. But even there a visitor can't be provided with the sights he gets to see here, for nobody there has taken the pain to create by human art new colours in those flowers. It would also be impossible, for the white water lilies of River Nile are too far away from the red ones of River Ganges to enable hybridization without relocating one of the species to the other one.

Even more special is the appearance of the Nymphaeas kept outside when you arrive at the Borsig Garden in late autumn or even at the beginning of winter and suddenly spot the beautiful southern flowers in rare bloom, while the cold season - at times even frost - has deprived even hardy plants of their leaves. The warm water of the basins keeps the temperature of the air above the surface to a degree that the Nymphaeas can exist well. Since it is doubtable to the moment if the Nymphaea hybrids will survive outside, the tubers of them are taken out of the pond mud in late autumn, are planted in shallow pots and placed in a warm house of 10 - 12 degrees Remure and just given so much water that the loamy soil doesn't dry out. If they are kept in water, they won't go dormant, develop new leaves and become weaker and weaker.

By the end of February the tubers are planted in fresh soil, consisting of 2 parts loam, 1 part heather soil and 1 part sand, placed in a warm basin and by the middle of May they are transferred to the outside or put in a pond in a suitable pot.

Also if there were successful crosses of the white N. lotus of the Nile and the red N. rubra of the Ganges (mainly in England and Belgium, where the presently Superior Gardener Ortgies of the Botanic Garden at Zürich gained fame for the development of Nymphaea hybrids), there were nowhere else such extended and perfect crossings than the ones by Inspector Bouché of the Royal Botanic Garden in the years 1852 and 1853. All lovers of flowers, mainly those who have the means to build special houses to keep aquatics in, will be especially thankful to him, but not less thankful will be those who will be able to see the hybrids in other gardens. One may only wish that Inspector Bouché, since he already has experience in the cultivation, will extend his experiments further. We posses also blue Nymphaes that - fertilized with pollen of the red and white one or the other way round - will cause interesting new hybrids, not only in the colour but also in the shape of the flower it self. I want to mention especially Nymphaea gigantea from Newholland, since it blooms during the day, while the other ones have their flowers closed. Wouldn't it be possible to make a cross of Victoria regia with the later one?

The total number of Hybrids raised by Inspector Bouché is 16. Seven of them are the result of a pollination of N. rubra with pollen of N. lotus, while the rest are pollinations of these hybrids with pollen of N. lotus. Most of them were named after persons that are related in some respect with the Botanic Garden or persons that are involved in the culture of aquatics.

I. Pure Hybrids

1. Gustav Fintelmann (Gardener of the Royal Court on the Peacock-Island at Potsdam) It possesses the darkest colour and hardly can be distinguished from the pod parent, although the filaments are of brown colour.
2. Dr. Klotzsch (Custodian of the Royal Herbary) The colour of the petals is a light purple, the filaments are redish brown.
3. Dr. Caspary (before instructor in Berlin, now in Bonn) The colour of the petals appears somewhat darker than the previous hybrid, the filaments are also reddish brown.
4. Professor Dr. K. Koch (Adjutant of the director of the Botanic Garden) The colour of the flower is between # 1 and # 3, but resembles more to the first one and therefore has brown filaments.
5. Nymphaea boucheana. It is of very pale pink, the inner petals are entirely white, the filaments are yellow. The hybrid was shown on plate 1033 in volume 10 of Flore des Serres
6. Theodor Jannoch (Gardener at the Botanic Garden, who has supervision of the aquatics) A splendid and huge flower with the colour of a rose, resembles somewhat N. Ortgesiana rubra as shown in Flore des Serres by van Houtte in volume VIII plate 775 (which itself is identical with N. Devoniensis)
7. Adele. The flower is of a pure purple, the filaments are orange.

II. Double Hybrids

8. Königin Elisabeth. Very big and beautiful flowers with rose coloured petals and yellow filaments.
9. Generaldirektor Lenné (director of the Royal Gardens at Sanssouci) resembles # 5 and possesses also petals of delicate pink that turns white to the centre. The filaments are again yellow.
10. Professor Dr. Braun (director of the Botanic Garden) The flower has very broad petals of a pale red colour, with a white stripe in the middle. The filaments are yellow.
11. Van Houtte (Chief and owner of a big nursery in Gent) The flower is pink, but with a bluish flush. The filaments are brown.
12. Geheimer Kommerzienrath Borsig (Founder of the biggest iron producing factory of Germany in Berlin) The petals are of a light rose colour.
13. Th. Nietner (Gardener of the Royal Court at Schönhausen near Berlin) The colour of the petals is purple, but with a bluish flush. The filaments are orange.
14. Wendland (Inspector of the Gardens of the Court at Herrenhausen near Hannover) Resembles # 6, but the colour is more of a light purple. The filaments are ochre.
15. L. Mathieu (Commercial nurseryman in Berlin) The petals are rose coloured, but have a brownish flush. The filaments are orange.
16. Friedericke. Resembles the previous hybrid, but is somewhat darker in colour. The filaments are ochre.

Die Bouché'schen Nymphäen-Blendlinge
The original German

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