Because of the increasing problem of environmental change, vagaries of plant fashions, and loss of habitat, our diversity of plants is now under threat. Through Plant Heritage’s National Plant Collections, of which there are around 630 in the UK and Ireland, the charity protects and conserves cultivated plants. However many genera are not represented within National Plant Collections and the charity is now calling on the public to join them in ensuring these plants remain for future generations.
National Collection Holders collect and conserve the widest possible range of plants in private gardens, allotments, nurseries, local parks, botanic gardens and historic estates.
The 10 plant groups which the charity would like to see in new National Plant Collections are:
CEO Sarah Quarterman said: "Through our Missing Genera campaign, we hope to raise awareness of the need for cultivated plant conservation with the help of the gardeners of Britain. Once a plant is gone, sadly it is gone forever, but this is an opportunity for everyone interested in gardening and plants to learn about the need for preservation for future generations to enjoy. We’re looking forward to reaching more people at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next month and will have several of the missing plants within the Plant Heritage zone inside the Floral Marquee. Please come and say hello to our team there."
This year for the first time the Plant Heritage Zone showcasing National Plant Collections will be at the centre of the Floral Marquee at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and will allow the public to see plants from a 37 National Plant Collections, displayed by 30 Collection Holders. There are also three new exhibitors this year with displays of Echium, Hakonechloa and Fuchsia.
Plant Heritage is also seeking 12 'disappeared' plants including Crocus chrysanthus 'EA Bowles', three Cedric Morris iris, four fuchsia and four Mylnefield lilies.