The Gardeners' Chronicle (Feb. 11, 1882) p. 183
WE are privileged to lay before our readers the portrait of a distinguished Frenchman, as well known to horticulturists as to botanists. For several years M. Naudin was connected with the Jardin des Plantes, and was associated with his friend, M. Decaisne, not only in his official duties but also in the publication of various works on botany and botanical horticulture, which have made the names of the two friends familiar to all French and very many horticulturists of other nations. As a botanist, M. Naudin is best known by his elaborate monographs on the Melastomaceae and Cucurbitaceae. He has recognised the necessity of cultivating the objects of his study whenever circumstances permitted, and has been an exclusively herbarium botanist only when he could not do otherwise. In this manner he has obtained an insight into the range of variation, the general habit and life‑history of plants, impossible to be obtained from the study of dried specimens only, however well prepared. His experiments and researches on hybridisation have been so numerous and thorough that they have been of the greatest service to physiologists and cultivators. For several years M. Naudin cultivated and made experiments on some 1200 Cucurbitaceous plants belonging to various species and varieties, which by his observations and experiments he was enabled to range under three species, each presenting very numerous and often analogous variations. The description and classification of the endless series of Gourds, Cucumbers, and Melons, are extremely remarkable, and valuable for cultural purposes were it only for the practical hint obtained, that in the case of such plants as the Melon and Cucumber, it is better and more profitable to endeavour to improve existing kinds than to introduce new kinds from other countries.
M. Naudin retired from Paris some years ago to take up his residence at Collioure in the Eastern Pyrenees, and in the propitious climate of that region devoted himself to the collection, cultivation, and study of plants from all climates that will thrive in that region, paying strict attention at the same time to meteorological phenomena and their relation to plant growth. On the death of M. Thuret, and the acquisition, by the French Government, by gift, of the noble garden at Antibes, it was a felicitous choice to select M. Naudin as the superintendent of a garden so rich in rare and interesting plants collected and studied by MM. Thuret and Bornet. The glories of this garden have been chronicled in these pages at various times, and several illustrations have been given from the exquisite photographs of M. Bornet. The garden at Antibes, under its present management, is a sort of succursale, or branch establishment to the Jardin des Plantes at Paris, though it must be admitted that the branch establishment is, as far as gardening is concerned, far more attractive than the parent. M. Naudin aims at maintaining in the lovely but trying climate of this part of the Mediterranean region a veritable garden of acclimatisation, if the word may be permitted, and gladly receives seeds and plants of tropical or semi‑tropical species for experimental culture. At the present time M. Naudin is specially interested in collecting and studying the numerous species of Eucalyptus, not only from the point of view of the botanist, but also from that of the economist. Every facility is given to students of any nationality to pursue physiological, botanical, or horticultural studies.