Hans van der Post GB

Hans van der Post

(Oegstgeest 1944)

A passionate nature man with a righteous sense of justice and injustice. A source of inexhaustible knowledge and experience applied with an indefatigable interest in everything that lives and grows.

  You could, for example, characterize Hans van der Post in his many activities that he has practiced professionally for years.

Martien Soeters 2015.

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If there is someone among the Dutch Fuchsia hybridizers who has studied the story of the flowers and the bees like no other to the finesse, then that is Hans van der Post. Not that Hans did not believe where the children come from but Hans was and is still fascinated by both the flowers and the bees. He still has both as his main hobby.

Foto:  www.imkervereniging-oegstgeest.nl/   www.bijenhouden.nl   

Born in 1944 in Oegstgeest, where he still lives, as a child he was already taught by his father the love and appreciation of nature during walks through the village and its surroundings. These experiences formed the basis for the great interest in everything that lives and grows that Hans later developed when he finished his MBO Electrical Engineering course.

After 23 years working in that field, he changed jobs and was appointed as a warehouse employee at the navy in Oegstgeest. At the age of eighteen he started to keep bees something he still does with passion and above all with much knowledge.

In the beekeepers world, Hans, with his great knowledge of things, is now a concept and a source of information on many forums for many who practice this hobby. For example, Hans is still active as a teacher and examiner for keeping bees and he has been experimenting for some time now with the cultivation of queen bees.

                                                                                            Bee swarm                                                                                    Foto: S. van Schaik.

Keeping bees as a hobby is different from, for example, keeping chickens. Bees are not given their food by humans but pick it up from nature. As a beekeeper, knowledge of the flora and fauna is needed for this, and Hans has gained and acquired this to a large extent. Hans has extensive knowledge of trees and shrubs and biodiversity in our country. Cultivated crops such as Dahlias and potatoes are also interested in Hans.

hybridizing Dahlias is focused on his beekeeping hobby. He strives to grow single-flowered dahlias with certain colors. The hybridizing of potatoes he began at the time purely out of curiosity but lack of space forced him to stop. Also having and keeping fuchsias and hybridizing them is one of the hobbies that Hans has been practicing for years in his own way.

Hans came into contact with fuchsias for the first time during a visit to the Hortus in Leiden. That was in July 1966. The newly founded Dutch fuchsia association held its first exhibition there. Hans became a member of the NKvF on the spot and stayed there until 1987.

From April 1971 he was a member of the board of that association and in those years he was the permanent photographer for Fuchsiana.

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Hybridizing Fuchsias.

The hybridizing of Fuchsias started with Hans out of curiosity. In the early years he used his bees to do the pollinating for him. From 1970 to 1993, Hans introduced 9 new cultivars.

There are hybridizers who introduce dozens of new fuchsias in such a period. But most of the time it is the real hybridizers who bring novelties that bring the most appealing or innovative cultivars. Similarly Hans van der Post.


Foto:  S. van Schaik.

Because of his great knowledge of the behavior of the bees, he could conclude with certainty that the cultivars Mephisto 'and' Waternymph 'were the parents of his first cultivar' Rika '.

'Rika' was presented to the newly established Fuchsia committee of the VKC during the first lustrum exhibition of the Fuchsia Association in Blijdorp Zoo in 1970. 'Rika' was found to be good and came into circulation and is still available.

It is a somewhat stiff upward fuchsia with white sepals and a pink blush and a purple pink crown. In a bright spot it is a fuchsia that gives little problems and shows good flowering results. That a new cultivar also had to have a name Hans had not really thought about so he had to give the rookie a name on the spot.

He called the plant 'Rika' after his grandmother.


Foto: S. van Schaik

In 1975 Postiljon was presented as the second cultivar of Hans at the inspection and approved. The name of this cultivar is derived from the name of the hyberidizer.

The hybridizing of fuchsias was still in its infancy in those years, they were not very focused because they were not that important yet and the good techniques were not yet known. But Hans did have his bees on which he trusted and so he was able to point out 'La Campanella' where he picked the berries as a seed parent and "Waternymph" with great probability as a pollen parent.

In those early years of the Dutch Fuchsia hybridizing, several 'La Campanella' descendants came into circulation, all of which showed a lot of similarities in terms of growth and flower form. Hans had met Herman de Graaff in 1974 and perhaps that friendship, which still exists, is the explanation that Hans had a good hand of selecting the seedlings. Herman did not have much experience with Fuchsias at the time, but was interested in hybridizing from home.

'Postiljon' stands head and shoulders above the many 'La Campanella' descendants of that time. Hans himself thinks it is the best cultivar he has grown and that is right. The plant grows without problems as a self-branching pendant and flowers continuously from May to October. In a warm greenhouse the plant can even bloom throughout the winter. This means that the flower is a day-length neutral plant, which is unusual for a fuchsia. Worldwide you still encounter the plant in the collections of fuchsia enthusiasts and he is still praised in all kinds of books and on the internet. The pedigree of

'La Campanella' does mean that problems can arise when the winter is too cold. What is typical of 'La Campanella' lineages.

Marie Punselie

Foto: M.A. Soeters

It took five years before the next cultivar was presented by Hans for testing. In 1980 the cultivar 'Marie Punselie' was approved by the Fuchsia committee of the VKC. A distinctive pendant with some flowers in attractive colors.

The long flower stems with the rather large flowers with long sepals give the plant a separate cachet.

It is a cross between 'Lady Boothby' as a seed parent and 'Lord Lonsdale' as a pollen parent. Hans has named the plant after a fuchsial fancier from him from the village who for years transformed the balconies of her flat into a beautiful fuchsia garden. Now 36 years later, the plant is still widely available and despite the enormous growth of many cultivars, it still stands out in the collections of enthusiasts.

Vincent van Gogh

Foto: S. van Schaik

Four years later in 1984, a new cultivar of Hans finally comes out again. His membership of the hybridzing group apparently had an influence on the choice of parent plants. Hans uses for this cultivar to exclude botanical fuchsias: F. speciosa as a seed parent and "Rubra Grandiflora" as a pollen parent.

This new acquisition was approved at the inspection in Rijnsburg but did not get a name yet. The village of Nuenen celebrated in 1984 that it was a hundred years ago that Vincent van Gogh lived and worked in the village. Among other things, a large fuchsia show was organized in the park, where the new cultivar was christened and he received the melodious name 'Vincent van Gogh'.

Of course the name also contributed to the great success of this plant, but also the color palette that shows the single flowers of this pendant made this plant widely loved. The graceful flowers with long flower tubes hang in clusters on this richly flowering plant, which, like 'Postiljon', is still valued worldwide in the collections of enthusiasts.


Foto: J. van der Post

In 1980 Hans applied the pollen of 'Georgana' to the pestle of 'Buttercup' and protected it well so that his bees could not bring any other pollen. The seed was harvested and sown in 1981 and the same year the many offspring already flourished.

Ready would you say but that is not how Hans works. Crossing and shielding is not that difficult and sowing is not, but if the seedlings start to bloom in July and August, then you have to select. The focus is on flowering, growth and sensitivity to disease such as fungi. Since Hans used the proverb "The master's eye makes the horse fat" as a guide, the many seedlings were also assessed by a group of people from the hybridizing group.

The result was that of the many seedlings that were in the ground, 10 plants were set aside to be looked at in the following years. In the end, the numbers 81-26 and 81-197 remained in the hundreds of seedlings in 1984. In 1985 Hans brought 81-26 to the inspection and the cultivar 'Papillon' was a fact.

The relatively large flowers with respect to the leaves are just butterflies on the plant which explains the name Papillon.

The plant easily stretches in the spring: in summer and autumn it does not work because of the exuberant bloom. 'Papillon' can be used as a shrub or a small tree in the sun or semi-shade and can be ensiled in the winter.

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foto: J. van der Post.

hybridizing is discovering and experimenting to make crosses of plants that have never happened before. You prove your craftsmanship as a hybridizer. Often the success of the crossing is a greater goal than the quality of the product.

Usually we are talking about crosses between two botanical fuchsias. In many cases such crossings will be rewarded with a botanical certificate if they have not been made before. Most of this type of plants is not in circulation, but is used in further developments in the field of hybridizing. But there are also many botanical crosses that come into circulation because apart from the special crossing they also have properties that make them suitable for the average fuchsia lover and are easy to keep.

Something special happened in the mid-1980s. Two hybridizers, without knowing that of each other, were making the same crossing. Hans van der Post and Mrs Reiman crossed F.magdalenae and F. pilaloensis.

Both parents are certainly not easy plants to cross but also not to cultivate.

Hans van der Post called his acquisition 'Mayella' and received the Botanical Certificate and Mrs Reiman her plant got the name 'Radings Ans' and received the certificate of merit. Both plants showed many similarities and you can say, they were look a likes.

The level of difficulty of the parent plants was, as it were, inherited in the offspring and that ensured that both plants were quickly no longer visible in the assortment of the enthusiasts. They are therefore nowhere to be obtained.


Foto: M.A. Soeters

'Hathor' and 'Ting-a Ling' were the parents of the cultivar 'Lumière' that Hans brought to the market in 1988.

Lumière is the French word for light or luminous. The saucer-shaped flowers that the plant inherited from the 'Ting-a-Ling' seeder give this effect with their soft pink and bright white colors against the background of the somewhat dark leaves. This is reinforced by the fact that the flowers do not hang but give off on a sturdy stem.

It is a strong plant that is suitable for a shrub or a tree. The best location is in filtered light and it is recommended to place the plant in a cool place when budding.

At the end of the eighties pastel-colored flowers were very popular and the dish shape of 'Lumière' ensured that the popularity of this plant was enormous at the time. 'Lumière' is still kept global and appreciated as one of the finest dish-shaped fuchsias.


Foto: J. Workel

Hans 'Treslong' rightly calls his most beautiful hybridizing product.

Anyone who has ever seen a flowering plant of 'Treslong' is immediately tempted to buy a plant yourself.

The impressive long flowers hanging gracefully in bunches have enchanted many fuchsia enthusiasts. Unfortunately, this often led to disappointment due to a lack of knowledge about the care of the plant. Treslong is the hybridizing product of two botanical fuchsias. The seed parent is F. magdalenae a plant that needs warmth and care in winter and the pollen parent is F. inflata a tuber that also requires separate care, especially for watering.

When the plant received the botanical certificate in September 1990, it was awaiting how, despite the enchanting beauty

'Treslong' with its inherited difficult care it would do in the fuchsia world.

Now more than a quarter of a century later we can conclude that the beauty of the plant has overcome it. Treslong is still the fuchsia cultivar with the longest flowers, is still available and you can see it now and then at exhibitions and in collections of enthusiasts who take great pains to keep the plant in place. You could consider this plant as the Haute Couture among the hundreds of fuchsia cultivars, which is the reason for many fuchsia enthusiasts to preserve and cherish this heritage.

The name of the plant refers to the tresses on military uniforms and the word long joined to 'Treslong'. In addition, the name for the French translation is very long. Both very appropriate for this beautiful plant.


Pangea, the original plant

Foto. M.A. Soeters

Pangea, bred from Meristem culture

Foto: S. van Schaik

It is July 1993 when Hans has his next cultivar inspected.

This time it is a new acquisition that has already received a lot of praise at the meetings of the hybridizing group and actually it was a formality. 'Pangea' became the name of a new plant that in terms of flower shape brought a new form into the fuchsia.

'Pangea' is a cross between the triphylla cultivar 'Göttingen' as a seed parent and a seedling of the crossing

  F. triphylla and F. pringsheimii used. The result was a beautiful half pendant with dark green leaves and bunches of flowers as usual with a cultivar with so much F. triphylla blood.

The long red-orange flowers, like most triphylla cultivars, have a long thin flower tube which in this case has been thickened directly above the sepals into a balloon that creates the new flower shape. The plant can easily be made into a beautiful half-pendant and with some support it can also be shaped as a shrub.

That this plant was the topper at the time speaks for itself. Especially the lovers of triphylla cultivars did the greatest effort to include the plant as soon as possible in their collection. But the other fuchsia lovers in all European countries could not get enough of this plant and that led to the growers not being able to make enough cuttings in the first years with the result that something happened that Hans could not prevent and in fact no one in the had holes.

When describing the plant, it was found that two different Pangeas were in circulation. When asked by the people of the Description Group, it turned out that there had been a grower abroad who had allowed 'Pangea' to multiply via meristem culture in order to meet the large demand. Unfortunately, these plants came into circulation without first looking at the result, these plants have a 4mm longer flower tube with some minor other deviations and they are more fertile than the original plant.

Fortunately, there are no descendants of this wrong 'Pangea' known so far. The original 'Pangea' can still be found with some growers. Hans named the name 'Pangea' from the name of the supercontinent that existed 210 to 250 million years ago and from which all current continents originated. The plant 'Pangea' is quite easy for a cultivar with so much triphylla blood in culture. In the winter hibernate at 5 to 6 degrees above zero, in the spring one or more times tops, and a sunny to half shaded place.

Bee on white Skimmia

Foto: S. van Schaik

Rust rust?

"Rust rust" is the proverb and rust on a fuchsia that leaves you alone usually leads to the end of that plant. That will not happen soon with Hans van der Post. After his last introduction in 1983, Hans certainly did not sit still or renounce the fuchsia hobby.

As a good hybridizer, Hans has gone through and has tried to set his limits even higher with the aim of continuing his succession of successful plants.

Experimenting and discovering is simply in the blood and so it could happen that Hans by crossing one

F. triphylla obtained a white triphylla cultivar from the hundreds of seedlings. He himself has, as far as so far known, not yet done anything with it and has given little publicity about it. However, he has made cuttings available from this plant to fellow hybridizers. In the hybridizers' world, this plant is called F. triphylla HvdP (Hans van der Post).

F. triphylla HvdP

Foto: J. van der Post

There are properties that a beekeeper should possess if he wants to keep bees successfully; curiosity about doing and letting or observing the bee colonies.

Hans has a wide range of these properties and also applies them to his fuchsias. As a result, Hans soon had the conviction that F. triphylla, according to his origin and adapted to the circumstances, manifests itself with different flower forms.

That he has made use of this speaks for itself.

With the classical triphylla cultivars it was previously almost not improved, but it was Hans van der Post who discovered that two 'Göttingen' were in circulation sterile and fertile. He himself used this fertile 'Göttingen' as a parent plant for 'Pangea' from 1993, but before that there were already some hybridizers from the hybridizing group who also heard about it and who gratefully used it. Hans also succeeded in cultivating triphylla cultivars that did not bloom in the famous triphylla-own bunches but in flower screens. These plants have been lost due to lack of space during the winter, but Hans knows he will not have settled there.

In 2003, the newly established inspection committee was looking for a judge with expertise in hybridizing. For neutrality it had to be a non-practicing hybridizer. Hans accepted that position and has done so with great pleasure and knowledge. However, he has indicated that after his last period as judge he wants to offer plants for inspection again. Soon we will be able to expect new gems from hybridizer Hans van der Post.

Bee on Dandelion

Foto: S. van Schaik

Bumblebee on a ball thistle

Foto: S. van Schaik

Sigrid van Schaik and Martien Soeters.

Sources:    Herman de Graaff  - Lisse.   


hybridizers archive M. A. Soeters.

Imkersvereniging-Oegstgeest www.imkervereniging-oegstgeest.nl/

Imkerforum: www.bijenhouden.nl

Leo Boullimier:  Checklist of Species, hybrids and Cultivars.                                                                                                               

Gerda Manthey: Fuchsien.

With thanks to Jan en Hermine Workel.   


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