One of the world's largest and most important Seedhouses. This firm was really started by the families Geoffroy and Andrieux to whom was allied by marriage in 1774, Philippe Victoire de Vilmorin (1745-1804) who became through his wife, the sole proprietor in 1780 and it is about this time that the present firm name was adopted. The Vilmorin family, a very ancient one of Lorraine, had many very famous members in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, magistrates, soldiers, clergy etc. There was a wonderful old advertisement of theirs in 1783 which shows among many other plant names, "Iris de Perse"; and which styles themselves "Marchand Grainier Fleuriste & Botaniste ordinaire du Roi". Jacques Lévêque de Vilmorin (1883-1933), eldest son of Maurice de Vilmorin (1839-1918), research worker, agriculturalist, agronomist and co-proprietor of the firm, and after 1917, the head, was very much interested in Beets and, with his grandfather, Louis de Vilmorin, published a book on Heredity in Beets. He also did much work with grain (Barley), classifying yhe principal varieties grown in France and raising new ones. He gave collections of trees to the State and received the Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1925. Another member of the firm, Henri Levêque de Vilmorin (1843-1899) was a plant collector, hybridizer and horticulturalist. Messrs. Roger and René de Vilmorinwere after this members of the firm. Philippe de Vilmorin (1872-1917) and Roger de Vilmorin wrote much in the horticulktural and agricultural papers on various horticultural and scientific subjects and also some articles on Irises. This firm has made large exhibits in flower shows and often shown many Irises, have raised them too and began to specialize in them in 1900. Well known and deservedly famous seedlings are 'Alcazar', "Eldorado'; and 'Le Corrège' and they made many splendid introductions of recent years, 'Cesar Franck', etc. It is true that "without the Vilmorins one would have less grain in our fields, less sugar in our beets, less flowers in our gardens". Long list of Irises as far back as 1865, special lists 1918 to date and in English 1922 to date 1939. (Synthesis by Bob Pries)
1916, p. 78 : Améthyste (1897, see journal 1922, p. 215 ), Barbe Bleue, Comtesse de Courcy, Duchesse de Nemours, Odéon (1906, see Journal SNHF 1922, Tome XXIII, p. 215 ), Poilu (1912, see Journal SNHF 1922, Tome XXIII, p. 215 ).