Plant Heritage invites everyone to search their gardens for rare or hidden specimens
Plant Heritage, the plant conservation charity, celebrates its 45th year with a special display at RHS Hampton Court where it will reveal the finalists and winner in the search for the Threatened Plant of the Year 2023.
“What you have in your garden may be perfect for our competition.”
The competition has enabled many cultivars to be recognised and saved. The first-ever winning plant was the beautiful Clematis montana var. rubens ‘Veitch’ and last year’s winner was Paeonia ‘Gleam of Light’, which the judges chose for its perfume, appearance and free-flowering nature. Since winning, cuttings have been shared with other peony growers, and the publicity has led to others coming forward to say they think they have one too.
A forgotten heritage
Camellia × williamsii ‘Yesterday’ won the title in 2021. The large-flowered pink camellia had been growing in an Edinburgh garden for 35 years, but its owner had forgotten its name, until he found the original plant label from 1985 in a chocolate tin in his shed. He’d bought it in Dobbies Garden Centre in 1985 for £9.50.
Vicki Cooke, Conservation Manager at Plant Heritage said: “Not every plant needs a remarkable story to win, but this story serves as a reminder that what you have in your garden may be perfect for our competition”.
Last year’s public vote was won jointly by Aeonium arboreum ‘Albovariegatum’ and Rosa ‘Sir Winston Churchill’. The latter was missing for many years in the UK until it was found in Australia and plant material sent back to be grafted and propagated to ensure its survival.
See more on last year’s finalists
Shortlisted plants will be on display at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival before the overall winner is presented with an engraved winner’s vase, certificate and special plant label.
The Threatened Plant of the Year competition can be found in the Floral Marquee – by the Potting Shed.
45 years of National Plant Collections
Plants can be lost to pests and diseases, climate change, changes in plant trade or simply by falling out of fashion. Plant Heritage works to protect rare and endangered plants through National Collections, Plant Guardians and Plant Exchange as well as the Threatened Plant Programme.
The charity will celebrate its 45th year at RHS Hampton Court, and has special celebrations planned for the show, as well as their awarding of the 18th Brickell Award – given to a National Collection holder who has ‘demonstrated excellence in cultivated plant conservation’.
Anyone can become a National Collection holder and Plant Heritage is always looking for enthusiastic plant lovers to take on a collection of one of their missing genera.
Check this list of threatened plants
Plant Heritage will be in the Floral Marquee every day during the show to welcome anyone wanting to know more about their vital work.
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