Pontus Wallstén has been interested in wildlife since an early age; his interest in plants started at the age of 12, when he began growing tulips, daffodils and radishes using an old unused sandpit in his parents garden as a raised bed container. As the years went by, he discovered more unusual and rare bulbs, and especially lilies, which became his main interest, in particular the species, which he collects to this day, maintaining a collection of approximately 65 species and 40 or so hybrids. His other interests include South African bulbs such as Boophone, Brunsvigia, Haemanthus and Nerine, and more recently Arisaema and Cardiocrinum, of which he is building an extensive collection in his nursery in Switzerland, Between Lausanne and Geneva.
In 2010, following over 10 years of growth, some plants in his garden had multiplied well, at which point they where divided and potted up. As a "trial", Pontus sold these "surplus" plants at a local market in his village. The interest from customers was great, which sprouted the idea to create his small nursery, Pontus Wallstén Plants in 2010. Since then, Pontus has been exhibiting at most of the main rare plant shows in his area of Switzerland, as well as building up a small website, on which customers can see his available plants, and watch videos of growing tips and interviews made with plant experts from all around the world. The video section is a growing resource, with new interviews and videos being added as time goes by.
In 2013, Pontus begun a collaborative project with the Tanzanian NGO WATU, obtaining unusual bulbs from Tanzanian nurserymen, which he then sells in Europe. The profits on the sales going back to the NGO which works to provide education to children with financial difficulties in the suburbs of Moshi in Tanzania. More about this project can be found on his website.
In 2017, he published 'the Lily species and their bulbs' , his Lilium species guidebook, with photographs of 113 of the 115 or so existing lilium species worldwide, as well as pictures of 69 different sp bulbs, for ID purposes. The book also contains extra chapters illustrating the rarer species not currently in cultivation, as well as articles and contributions from various lily growers from all around the world, on various aspects of lily growing or finding rare species in the wild.
Pontus has been editor of the RHS lily group newsletter since 2015, which gets published twice a year, in spring and autumn.
He is also a freelance photographer and cameraman, working for various NGO's and international organisations, photographing conferences and events.
Recently, Pontus collaborated with Bob Gibson of B and D lilies in Washinghton, USA, to complete Bob Gibson's lilium sp knowledge base, which now contains photographs of almost all lilium species and subspecies found today. the knowledge base can be viewed at : https://www.bdlilies.com/research.html