RHS Plant Committees

Learn about the RHS Plant Committees and the work they do to support us in our mission to inspire everyone to grow

RHS Fruit, Vegetable & Herb Committee
The seven RHS Plant Committees provide an invaluable source of horticultural expertise. Committee members come from all corners of horticulture – amateur, professional and commercial – and voluntarily commit their time to act as our ambassadors, helping us to promote plant excellence, extend our regional, national and international networks, and sharing their passion for plants.

What our RHS Plant Committees do

  • Give talks, cultural demonstrations and advice at shows, public events and community projects around the country
  • Propose plants for RHS Trials and contributing to trials forum expertise
  • Provide advice to gardens on collections and planting plans
  • Assist the RHS in its rolling review and round-table assessments of Award of Garden Merit (AGM) plants
  • Ratify all recommendations for Award of Garden Merit from trials forums and round-table assessments
  • Assess plants for award at their committee meetings
  • Nominations and decisions on RHS annual awards to plants and people
  • Contribute to the scheduling of RHS Horticultural Competitions and participate in show judging panels
  • Enable strong links with RHS Partner Gardens, Plant Societies, National Collection holders, gardening clubs and other associations
  • Promote careers in horticulture to people of all ages and mentoring by welcoming students and horticulturists to their meetings and events
  • Support RHS initiatives such as Campaign for School Gardening, New Shoots, Britain in Bloom, Grow Your Own

RHS Plant Committee Annual Awards

The RHS Plant Committee Annual Awards  were created to recognise those who are making an outstanding contribution within their plant group.

Meet the RHS Plant Committees

Bulb Committee

The Bulb Committee evolved in 2013 from the Daffodil and Tulip Committee (formed 1884) and its wider remit now covers bulbs and other subterranean plants across all seasons, including corms, tubers and rhizomes. Its members also contribute to the production of the Daffodil, Snowdrop and 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 representatives of the RHS Lily Group also sit on this committee. The RHS is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for daffodils and lilies.

X social media iconFruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee

The Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee was formed in 1858 and is the oldest Plant Committee. Its members also assist with the scheduling and judging of fruit, vegetable and herb classes at horticultural competitions and shows, and participate in cultivar identification at various locations around the country. They contribute expertise to RHS applications and campaigns, and membership includes representatives from the RHS Fruit Group.

X social media iconHerbaceous Plant Committee

The Herbaceous Plant Committee, formed in 1859 as the Floral Committee and renamed in 2005, has a huge remit covering hardy herbaceous perennials such as chrysanthemums, carnations and pinks, delphiniums and grasses. It works collaboratively with the Tender Ornamental Plant Committee on the assessment of seasonal bedding plants, both in formal trials and within the rolling review of AGMs. The RHS is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for delphiniums, dahlias and Dianthus.

Alpine and Rock Garden Plant Committee

The committee was formed in 1936 and known as the Joint Rock Garden Plant Committee, comprising an equal number of experts representing the RHS, Alpine Garden Society and the Scottish Rock Garden Club. From 2024, this limit has been lifted to ensure the committee’s membership continues to reflect the best relevant expertise regardless of geography or society affiliation, and the committee was renamed. As well as meetings, the committee attends shows and events all over the UK, judging and assessing a wide range of rock gardens and alpine plants for the RHS Plant Awards, including the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

X social media iconOrchid Committee

The Orchid Committee was formed in 1889 and holds meetings around the country, working with local orchid societies and assessing more than 200 plants for RHS Plant Awards every year. The committee has strong international links, and its members represent the committee and the RHS at events all over the world. The committee assists in the planning and delivery of the annual RHS Orchid Show and The Orchid Review Yearbook publication. The RHS is also the International Cultivar Registration Authority for orchid hybrids.

The Orchid Review newsletter

Did you know that you can sign up via email to get the latest news from the world of orchids, including introductions, breeding advice, updates and scientific findings?

Tender Ornamental Plant Committee

Formed in 1963 and renamed in 2005, the Tender Ornamental Plant 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 a variety of flower shows, and it works collaboratively with the Herbaceous Plant Committee on the assessment of seasonal bedding plants, both in formal trials and within its rolling review of the AGM list.

Woody Plant Committee

The Woody Plant Committee was formed in 1859 as part of the Floral Committee and renamed in 2005. It is the source of expertise for hardy trees and shrubs, which includes old hybrid and species roses as well as hardy climbing plants. The committee makes study visits to many gardens with important collections. It has strong links with the International Dendrology Society and other relevant societies, and membership includes representatives from the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group. The RHS is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for clematis, conifers and rhododendrons.

For more information on RHS Plant Committees, please email [email protected].

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RHS Plant Groups

As well as the plant committees, the RHS has a number of thriving Plant Groups, run outside of the RHS, but still with input from the Society.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.