Plant Heritage has announced a new National Collection of Primula sieboldii, Japanese cultivars, to its nationwide programme of National Plant Collections.
The collection has been created by Penny and Melvyn Jones in Hasworthy, Devon who run a specialist herb and alpine nursery, Staddon Farm Nurseries, in 1997.
They have 75 cultivars in the collection and are sourcing nine new ones from Japan in the New Year.
Melvyn Jones says it has not been easy sourcing new varieties: "Japan is a difficult exporter, but we have not given up. We have also sought to link up with other collections in the UK with some success and hope that our new National Collection status will help us with this."
Primula sieboldii, commonly known as the Japanese Primrose or Cherry Blossom primula is endemic to East Asia and was mentioned in Japan’s first ever gardening book published in 1681, although it was not until the mid 19th Century that botanist Dr Philip Franz von Siebold introduced the species to the Western World.
Plant Heritage plant conservation officer Mercy Morris said: "Penny and Melvyn are placing particular importance on the provenance and correct identity of the plants in their collection.
"This addresses a problem common to all Collection Holders who find that the plants they buy are not necessarily what the label says they are. It is important that growers and gardeners have someone they can go to when they are unsure, and this is what a National Collection is for."