Schübeler on Hablitzia

Frederik Christian Schübeler (1815-1892) was professor of botany and manager of the university’s botanical garden at Toyen in Christiania (Oslo) from 1866-92. Not without reason he has been called father of Norwegian horticultural and no doubt also the most important person for home garden diversity in Norway.  He also understood the importance of breeding local varieties of economic plants!  (see

In recent years, there has been increased interest in cultivating perennial vegetables and one of the best for cold climates is Hablitzia tamnoides. As I mention in my book, Schübeler  was growing Hablitzia in Oslo in the mid- 19th century as this entry in his major work Viridarium Norvegicum shows (translation below):





This useful ornamental climber, which is native to the Caucasus, has for many years been grown in the Botanical garden in Christiania (Oslo), where it reaches a height of 10-12 feet (3.13 to 3.76m). Several years ago, I sent it to several of my trial stations in Nordland county and it grows very well there! At Grøtø (67 deg 50 min N) it reaches 9-10 feet (2.82 to 3.13m) and gives mature seed at the end of August. At Maalselvdalens Vicarage (69 deg. 10 min. N), where it also grows very well, it reaches 8 feet (2.5m) and doesn’t only give mature seeds, but spreads even in the garden as a weed- At Ål vicarage in Hallingdal (60 deg. 37 min. N) it gives mature seed at an altitude of 470m. Recently, it has been cultivated here and there as a spinach plant in Sweden under the name of Kaukasisk rankspenat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Perennial vegetables, Edimentals (plants that are edible and ornamental) and other goings on in The Edible Garden