Berckmans, Prosper Julius 1830-1910

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Berckmans was a scholar, nurseryman, horticulturist and botanist.

He was born in Belgium and died at Fruitland Nurseries near Augusta, Georgia, in 1910. He spent his boyhood upon his father's estates. For political and religious reasons he emigrated to the United States in 1850 and lived for a time near Plainfield, New Jersey, where he first met Charles Downing and other prominent horticulturists. In 1857 he moved to Augusta, Georgia, and established the Fruitland Nurseries. From that time until his return in 1907 his sole object was the advancement of Southern Horticulture. As a reward he received a Masters of Science Degree from the University of Georgia in 1880.

He spent the major portion of his life in introducing and disseminating fruits and ornamentals of value to the south. Plants, cuttings, and seeds were imported from all parts of the world and tested at Fruitlands. The nursery became an experiment station as well as a botanic garden. He was connected with many domestic and foreign horticultural organizations.