The story of the company is a story of
generations of gardeners in the Černý family and their love of
flowers, persistence and a bit of luck along the way. The company
was founded by Ferdinand Hlaváček (1822–1897) as a regular horticultural
business in 1859.
In 1896, he married off his daughter to František Černý (1865–1925),
who had been trained as a castle gardener and who had even worked
in the famous gardens of Baron Rothschild in Vienna. He was a
true master of the art of flower arrangement.
In 1928, František Černý (1896–1968) and Marie Černá (1903–1987),
the next generation of gardeners, started to specialise in breeding
and production of seeds, especially of petunia and begonia. Their
first success came in 1934 when the original petunia variety
Karkulka was introduced. They bred a number of conventional non-hybrid
varieties together and managed to gain recognition among the
competition of established German seed suppliers.
The company has always been a typical family-run business where
generations of gardeners – breeders have handed down their knowledge
and biological material.
The company was nationalised in 1960. It became part of the state-run
enterprise Sempra, which established a breeding station specialising
in petunia and begonia. The work started in the 1930s continued.
The names Ing. Jan Černý (1928–1980) and Alenka Černá (1928–2000)
are associated with creation of the first hybrid varieties of
begonia (1959) and petunia (1960). They gradually managed to
breed a wide range of hybrid varieties which were competitive
on an international level.
At the beginning of 1991, the company was returned to the hands
of its original owners, the Černý family, in terms of restitution.
The company is still a specialised seed business producing seeds
of its own varieties of petunia, begonia, cyclamen and pelargonium.
It focuses intensively on breeding and new varieties are launched
onto the market practically every year. Seeds are supplied to
wholesale customers, gardeners and flower enthusiasts. Most of
the seeds produced are however exported.
More than 120 original varieties of petunia, begonia, cyclamen,
lily-of-the-valley and other flower varieties have been bred
in the company since 1934.
||František Černý with an apprentice
in his garden
and his wife
|František and Marie Černý
with a begonia classifier
|František and Jan Černý
- checking of production seedling stand
|Alenka Černá - selection of plants
for seeds production
|Jan Černý - evaluation
of experimental hybrids
for fast growing
|Centre Jan Černý senior,
on the left his son Jan,
on the right his son Jakub