Jenoffelins, additional information

January 8, 2010

Categories: Daffodil Types, Historics

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When this topic came up last year I forwarded it to another gardening list. One of the members was kind enough to follow up and she has found the answer to the question!

Debbie in NC

Begin forwarded message:

From: Linda Baranowski-Smith < title=>
Date: January 8, 2010 11:48:29 AM EST
To: Debbie Green < title=>
Subject: Jenoffelins, additional information

Hi Debbie.  Back in November, you wrote this to the G-list:

On Nov 15, 2009, at 6:25 PM, Deborah Green wrote:

Someone on the daffodil list was asking if anyone knows what flowers “jenoffelins” are. Apparently this was an old-fashioned garden flower, but no one seems to know for sure what they were. Anyone on Gardens ever hear this term?

Debbie in NC

We have a friend from the Netherlands, Ari van Tienhoven, Emeritus Professor of Animal Physiology at Cornell.  We asked him the question about the word “jenoffelins.”  He was kind enough to follow through with the query to a friend of his.  Marty Schlabach, a librarian at Mann Library, Cornell, was easily engaged in the question and happened to have done some reading recently related to the Dutch history in North America.  Below is the answer from Marty, quoted with permission:  

The book excerpt included from your mailing is from “Old-Fashioned Gardening: A History and a Reconstruction”.  For the chapter on “New Amsterdam Gardens”, the author Grace Tabor quotes extensively from Andriaen van der Donck’s 1655 book “A Description of the New Netherlands”, in which he describes extensively many of the natural, agricultural, horticultural and cultural features of the new world.  This book was translated from the Dutch in 1841 by Jeremiah Johnson, which is what Tabor would have used for her 1913 book.  This translation has been criticized as poorly and inaccurately done.  In 2008 Diederik Willem Goedhuys published a new translation, which is considered a much more accurate reflection of 17th century Dutch. 
In the 1841 translation the sentence of interest reads “the white and red roses of different kinds, the cornelian roses and stock roses…and those of which were none before in the country such as eglantine, several kinds of gilly-flowers, jenoffelins…different varieties of fine tulips, crown imperials, white lilies, the lily frutilaria, anemones, baredames. ..violets, marigolds, summer sots…”.
Goedhuys’ 2008 translation reads “The flowers taken there by the Hollanders include white and red roses of various types, also peonies and hollyhocks.  There were none of the following before then: sweetbriers, various carnations, stocks, many fine tulips, snake’s head, white lilies, the mottled lily, anemones, daffodils, violets, marigolds, snowdrops, etc.”
This translations suggests that ‘jenoffelins’ are ‘stocks’.  Stocks are an annual flower (or biennial), and can be found in many seed catalogs today.  The 2010 FEDCO catalog give the scientific name as Matthiola incana
Hope this helps you down the path of learning more about the meaning and origin of jenoffelins.
Marty Schlabach
Mann Library
Cornell University

If you want to forward this to the person on the daffodil list, it would be fine.   Linda.

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