Henry Nehrling

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Portrait c. 1903

Henry Nehrling (May 9, 1853 – November 22, 1929, Herman, Wisconsin) was an ornithologist and horticulturist.[1] He developed an interest in nature during hikes to and from school. He was educated at the Teachers' Seminary in Addison, Illinois,[1] and worked in various states as a teacher so that he could study a wider variety of birds.[2] In 1890 he became Custodian of the Milwaukee Public Museum[2][3] where he collected plant specimens for their greenhouse. He also served as the superintendent of the parks in Milwaukee.[4]

Prior to his retirement, Nehrling had become interested in Florida and bought land in Gotha in 1884,[2] and maintained a garden there, naming it Palm Cottage Gardens. At Palm Cottage Nehrling experimented with over three thousand species of plants, trees, shrubs and vines. Three hundred of those became staples in the landscape of Florida.[4] After a freeze in 1917 killed most of his plants, he relocated to Naples, Florida and started a new garden there.[2] Nehrling named his second garden, H. Nehrling's Tropical Garden and Arboretum. At Naples Nehrling carried on his pioneering work, he grew, hybridized, and popularized many exotic plants for the general public. Caladiums, palms, bamboo and Hippeastrums (the latter commonly and erroneously referred to as 'amaryllis') were all introduced to the United States by way of his Palm Cottage Gardens. He established a strong friendship with Theodore Luqueer Mead of nearby Oviedo, Florida and they collaborated on many plant experiments.

Nehrling died on November 22, 1929, and was laid to rest in the Gotha Cemetery. His Naples garden was preserved as the Jungle Larry's Caribbean Gardens, now the Naples Zoo.

In 2009, The Henry Nehrling Society, purchased Nehrling's home and gardens in Gotha.


  1. ^ a b "Dr. Henry Nehrling". The Miami News. 1929-11-25.
  2. ^ a b c d "Gardeners Celebrate Birth of Great State Bontanist". The Miami News. 1943-05-09.
  3. ^ "Needs of the Museum". The Milwaukee Journal. 1897-07-20.
  4. ^ a b "Some Interesting Items About Florida". The Miami News. 1923-02-05. p. 54.
  5. ^ IPNI.  Nehrl.

External links[edit]

Media related to Henry Nehrling at Wikimedia Commons