Plant Heritage, formerly the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens (NCCPG), was established in 1978 with the aim of encouraging and overseeing the establishment of well-documented and researched collections of garden plants.
In the main, each collection is devoted to a single genus, but a few have a broader remit. Taxonomic research is encouraged, as is the placing of voucher specimens in the Herbarium at Wisley. Documentation kept for the Collections includes descriptions, photographs, cultivation information, details of the origin and history of each plant. Duplicate collections help ensure the security of the Collections.
Currently, there are more than 650 registered National Plant Collections. Further information Plant Heritage and its National Collections scheme can be found on the NCCPG website.
National Plant Collections in RHS gardens
Between them, the RHS gardens at Wisley, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr hold 12 National Plant Collections, under the auspices of Plant Heritage. Each has an appointed custodian.
Wisley currently maintains collections of Crocus, Epimedium, heathers, rhubarb, gooseberries and redcurrants.
At Rosemoor are collections of Cornus and Ilex, while Hyde Hall holds the collection of Viburnum with the RHS AGM.
Harlow Carr maintains a collection of Dryopteris.