This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
All Paris has been marvelling, for some time past, at the exhibition, by a M. Hebert, of a process by which the this gentleman causes the blossoms of plants to burst into bloom instantaneously. No one has been able to penetrate the secret of the "discovery," as it is called, - legerdemain, as it probably ought to be called. The following account by an eye witness, (the correspondent of the St. Louis Republican,) gives the impression made upon the speculators, which is certainly very curious.
And now let me tell you of a most beautiful and interesting discovery which has lately been made by a celebrated Parisian horticulturist by the name of Hebert. I was persuaded to go to his rooms a few days since., and I assure you I had no reason to regret the long walk. I had taken. Beneath a large glass case, four or five feet in height, and as many in circumference, were placed pots of roses, japonicas, pinks, dahlias, china asters, etc., etc, all in bud. By means of a certain gas, invented by himself, and which is made to pass by a gutta percha tube to any pot required, Mr. Hebert causes the instantaneous blooming of the flowers. The ladies in the room asked successively for roses, dahlias, and japonicas, and saw them burst into full bloom and beauty, in a second. It was really wonderful. Mr. Hebert is now trying to improve on his discovery, and to make the gas more portable and its application less visible. The secret is, of course his, and his rooms are crowded every day with the most delighted spectators. 1 wish I could send you the lovely camellia which I received, which, when asked for was so tightly enveloped in the green leaves of its calix, that the color of its flower could not even be guessed at; and yet the request was hardly out of my lips when the beautiful white camellia was in my hand.
When he has made a little more progress, Mr. Hebert intends to get out a patent and deliver his discovery to the public.