Plant Heritage already has more than 600 National Plant Collections around the UK, housing over 100,000 plants. However the 13 new awards will "ensure greater security for the plants in these Collections with new individuals and organisations undertaking to preserve them for future generations".
Highlights of the new Collections, awarded at the Plant Conservation Committee held in December 2015, include a Collection based at the National Trust Nymans Gardens in Sussex, of plants collected by Harold Comber in the mid-1920s to early 1930s. Harold sent plant material back to Nymans as his father James Comber was Head Gardener there from 1895-1953. Many of these species are threatened in their native South American and Tasmanian habitats but are now safely conserved at this National Trust property.
Three Collection holders from around the UK have joined together for the first time to protect Chrysanthemum (Hardy), as part of a second dispersed Collection for Plant Heritage. This will spread the word further afield about these late flowering plants, native to Asia and northeastern Europe.
A Collection of birch trees based in Devon has been awarded Scientific Collection status after the garden’s previous owner (the late Kenneth Ashburner) spent his lifetime studying and researching the genus, resulting in the publication of his Kew monograph ‘The Genus Betula’ in 2013.
The full list of new National Plant Collections are:
- Allium spp.,cvs.,&hybrids (excl.cepa,porrum & sativum) (Surrey)
- Betula (Devon) (existing Collection, now awarded Scientific Status)
- Corokia (London)
- Eucryphia spp. & primary hybrids in Southern England (West Sussex)
- Harold Comber Collection (Sussex)
- Hebe stricta, traversii & cvs. (Kent)
- Hosta with the RHS AGM(Kent)
- Hemerocallis cvs. with the RHS AGM. (Cambridgeshire)
- Malus (Scottish apple cvs.) (Peebleshire)
- Muehlenbeckia (Suffolk)
- Petrocosmea (North Wales)
- Roscoea (Hampshire)
- Chrysanthemum (Hardy) (Dispersed Collection held over three different sites in Hertfordshire, Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire). The new Collection Holder of Chrysanthemum (Hardy) Judy Barker has joined forces with two recognised partners, Hill Close Gardens (Warwick) and Dr Andrew Ward of Norwell Nurseries (Newark).
Plant Heritage chief executive officer Sarah Quarterman said: "I am so pleased that we are able to extend our National Plant Collections awards further across the UK this year. With these new Collection Holders, now equipped with the support and knowledge needed to conserve precious species and cultivars, it is more likely that these plants will be around for future generations to come. All keen horticulturists and gardeners can learn more about our current National Plant Collections and how to submit a proposal for a new Collection by visiting plantheritage.com."