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 RHS Herbarium at RHS Garden 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 National Plant Collections.
Currently, there are more than 620 registered National Plant Collections. Get further information about Plant Heritage and its National Plant Collections on the Plant Heritage website.
National Plant Collections in the RHS Gardens
Between them, the RHS Gardens at Wisley, Rosemoor, Hyde Hall, Harlow Carr and Bridgewater hold 25 National Plant Collections, under the auspices of Plant Heritage.
Wisley currently maintains collections of Astilbe Arends cultivars (bred by Georg Arends), Calluna vulgaris, Crocus, Daboecia, Epimedium, Erica, Liriodendron, Metasequoia, Parthenocissus, Pelargonium (spp and hybrids, Stellar, Miniature Stellar, Dwarf Zonal, Zonartic), rhubarb, gooseberries and redcurrants.
At Rosemoor are collections of Cornus, Ilex, Iris (Rowden collection), Nerine spp, cultivars and hybrids (hardy), Pelargonium (Scented-leaved and variegated Zonal), Ruscus and Devon heritage apples.
Hyde Hall holds the collection of Colchicum (autumn flowering), Pelargonium (Irene/Zonal American, Ivy-leaved and Unique) and Viburnum with the RHS Award of Garden Merit, while Bridgewater holds
Pelargonium (Angel, Decorative, Regal, Dwarf Regal).
Harlow Carr maintains a collection of Dryopteris. Each has an appointed custodian.