Jean Jules Linden

Jean Jules Linden

Jean Jules Linden was born on 3rd February 1817 in Luxembourg. At a the young age of nineteen he started to collect orchids, mainly in South America. He undertook several travels and made detailed notes on the conditions in which the plants were growing in the wild. These notes and observations revolutionized the way in which orchids were grown in European collections. Before Linden all orchids were cultivated in hothouses at high temperatures. Many plants died, Europe was know as 'the orchid graveyard'. Based upon Lindens observations the British botanist Lindley described the plants he collected and included the information on the natural growing conditions.

Back in Brussels Linden became briefly the director of the Brussels zoological and botanical garden but he gradually focused on horticulture. He grew thousands of plants: to grow orchids he developed three types of glasshouse with different temperature conditions, the hothouse, the temperate house and the cool house. Under these conditions many different orchid species thrived. His firm grew into a true horticultural empire that at its zenith had outlets in Brussels, Ghent and Paris. Awards were won at international exhibitions in London, Paris and St. Petersburgh. Linden published wonderful books on orchids containing beautiful lithographs : "Pescatorea" and "Lindenia" are true gems.

Various plants have been named after him, including Iresine lindenii (Amaranthaceae), Phalaenopsis lindenii (Orchidaceae) and Polyrrhiza lindenii (Orchidaceae)

Jean Linden died in Brussels on 12th January 1898.

More information about Linden's herbarium specimens

More info about Jean Linden:

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