Learn about the RHS plant committees and the work they do in plant naming and classifying plants into groups
The seven RHS plant committees provide an invaluable source of horticultural expertise. Committee members come from all corners of horticulture, both amateur and professional, and voluntarily commit their time to act as our ambassadors, helping us to promote plant excellence, extend our regional networks and to share the best in gardening. Some of the ways in which all our plant committees do this are:
- Giving talks, cultural demonstrations and advice at shows and other public events around the country
- Assessing plants for award at their committee meetings
- Proposing plants for RHS Trials and contributing to trials forum expertise
- Assisting the RHS in its rolling review of Award of Garden Merit (AGM) plants
- Contributing to the scheduling of horticultural competitions
- Participating in show judging panels
- Nominating and deciding on RHS annual awards to plants and people
- Providing links with plant societies, gardening clubs and other associations
- Promoting careers in horticulture
- Supporting RHS initiatives such as National Gardening Week and Horticulture Matters
The seven RHS plant committees
The Bulb Committee evolved in 2013 from the Daffodil & Tulip Committee and its wider remit now covers bulbs and other subterranean storage organs, including corms, tubers and rhizomes. Its members also contribute to the production of the Daffodil, Snowdrop & Tulip Yearbook and help to organise and judge relevant plants at regional horticultural shows and competitions. The committee has strong links internationally, particularly in Holland, and the Chair of the RHS Lily Group also sits on this committee. The RHS is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for daffodils and lilies.
Fruit, Vegetable & Herb Committee
Fruit, Vegetable & Herb Committee members also assist with the scheduling and judging of fruit, vegetable & herb competitions and shows, and participate in cultivar identification at various locations around the country. Its membership includes the Chairs of the RHS Fruit Group.
Watch a video of Lady Bacon, member of the Fruit, Vegetable & Herb Committee, as she talks through the many uses of the plants in her Raveningham Hall herb garden.
Herbaceous Plant Committee
The Herbaceous Plant Committee has a huge remit, covering hardy herbaceous perennials including chrysanthemums, carnations and pinks, delphiniums, grasses and so on. The committee holds an annual event at one of our Partner Gardens where they offer advice to visitors and bring plants for discussion. The RHS is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for delphiniums, dahlias and dianthus.
Joint Rock Garden Plant Committee
The committee comprises an equal number of representatives from the RHS, Alpine Garden Society and the Scottish Rock Garden Club. As well as its own meetings, the committee attends AGS and SRGC shows and events all over the UK, judging and assessing a wide range of rock garden plants for RHS exhibition awards.
The Orchid Committee holds meetings around the country, working with local orchid societies and assessing more than 200 plants for exhibition award every year. The committee has strong international links and its members represent the committee and the RHS at events all over the world. The RHS is also the International Cultivar Registration Authority for orchid hybrids. See the Orchid Committee on Twitter.
Tender Ornamental Plant Committee
The committee comprises experts in growing tender plants from around the world, which, in temperate climates, are normally grown under protection. Its annual programme of events includes talks and demonstrations at the Malvern Spring Festival and Malvern Autumn Show flower shows, as well as Gardening Scotland.
Woody Plant Committee
The Woody Plant Committee is the source of expertise for hardy trees and shrubs, which includes old hybrid and species roses. The committee holds study days at many of the RHS London shows and the Chair of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group is a member. The RHS is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for clematis, conifers and rhododendrons.