Hortus Botanicus Leiden

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Hortus Botanicus Leiden

Postby niuorchids » Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:29 am

At the Hortus botanicus Leiden, as early as 1596, the famous European Slipper Orchid, Cypripedium calceolus (which is not a native species in the Netherlands) was already in cultivation. Actually it is probably more accurate to say that Cypripedium calceolus was planted in 1596 - whether it survived the cultivation techniques of those days for very long seems doubtful.
Phalaenopsis violacea Witte.Phalaenopsis violacea Witte.

Tropical orchids were introduced in the Hortus in the eighteenth century, three 'Epidendrum' species being present in 1740, as we know from a contemporary book. A catalogue of the garden published in 1831 includes about 40 orchid species. Soon afterwards the number of cultivated orchids in the Hortus started to grow explosively, in line with the fashion of cultivating orchids in several other European countries at that time, England in particular. During the nineteenth century three special orchid catalogues were issued by the Hortus, in 1848, 1862 and 1888. The first lists about 294 species; the second 515, while the last enumerates no less than 720 species. As is often the case with botanical gardens the personal interests of the curator determines to a large extent the nature of the collection. This definitely applied to Leiden, where Heinrich Witte was hortulanus (curator) from 1855 until 1898. Witte was very fond of orchids and with the support of his Prefects (directors) he managed to bring together a fine collection, of which the 1862 and 1888 catalogues are a lasting reminder.

Read more here: http://www.orchidsnewguinea.com/orchid- ... us-leiden/

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