Rupert Wilson

Rupert leads the RHS Horticultural Database team, which maintains plant records at Wisley, compiles the RHS Plant Finder, provides training and support for users of the RHS Horticultural Database, and ensures consistency in the data across Science

What do you do?

As Principal Data Manager I am responsible for ensuring all horticultural information held by the RHS is accurate through proper management of my team. Their roles include checking and maintaining the information we provide, which could be the information on a plant label at one of our gardens, the suppliers of a plant listed in RHS Plant Finder or the characteristics of a plant shown in a plant profile on the website.

“Even with 30 years’ experience handling plant information I still get a buzz working in this rich environment.”

Why is your team’s research important?

We strive to provide our visitors, members, gardeners and horticultural professionals with information they can be confident in. We hope that by ensuring and inspiring confidence and trust in the information we provide, that people’s knowledge of plants will grow and their desire to safeguard the knowledge for future generations will follow.

Projects I’m working on now

Completed projects

  • In autumn 2020, we completed the task of migrating all the plant names and profiles in the RHS Horticultural Database to a new technology platform, which seamlessly updates the RHS website.
  • In autumn 2021, we completed the migration of the Wisley Herbarium records, and in January 2022, we completed the transfer of the Wisley plant records. This concludes the migration of core information in the RHS Horticultural Database. All five RHS Gardens and the Wisley Herbarium together with RHS Plant Finder and RHS Find a Plant are now able to exchange information using the BRAHMS software.


In the late 1990s, I built the first public website for the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Reading including a searchable interface for the preserved herbarium collections.

As part of my outreach and skill sharing, I convene training events for staff who are managing plant collection databases across Britain and Ireland.


  • RHS Plant Finder

Get involved

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.