Daniel August Schwarzkopf (1737 – 1817)


Daniel August Schwarzkopf was born in the little village of Ostrau, near Halle in Germany. He received his training as a gardener in some of the finest gardens of Germany, the Netherlands and England. Well educated, especially in botany, and with a knowledge of several languages, he was employed as chief gardener by Duke Wilhelm IX of Hessen-Kassel. In addition of his daily work, Daniel Schwarzkopf did garden design and organized and managed a fine nursery. Roses were not popular in 1773 when he started to hybridize them – probably by controlled pollination.


Twelve years later, the pleasure garden Weißenstein (later Wilhelmshöhe) near Kassel arguably had the largest collection of roses in Europe with some 150 rose species and varieties. Most of the new roses were given faddish French names, e.g. ´Beauté Touchante´ and ´Belle Parade´. We can only guess why many of his roses were sidelined from the 1805 Wilhelmshöhe nursery catalogue where only 77 appear.


In 1783, a directory of the plants in the landscape park Schönbusch near Aschaffenburg was published which included a list of 106 roses. The head gardener  of this park was Christian Bode, a former gardener of the princely gardens in Kassel. Many of the roses are identical with those of the directory of Wilhelmshöhe (1805), but in it are also mentioned some early roses like ´Manteau Pourpre´, ´Soleil Brillant´ and ´Belle sans Flatterie´. These could be the missing Schwarzkopf roses.


In the 1790s, many roses of Daniel A. Schwarzkopf appeared in Dutch and French nurseries catalogues without mentioning their breeder.