When it’s gone, it’s gone...

Plant Heritage is saving our garden plants through its National Plant Collections scheme

Over decades and sometimes centuries, our nation’s dedicated gardeners have collected, bred and cared for a huge range of garden plants. Today, this rich horticultural heritage is threatened by the advance of new pests and diseases, climate change, loss of gardens, fluctuating fashions and the changing nursery trade. If garden plants die out – a slice of social, cultural and horticultural history disappears too.

Plant Heritage is a charity that helps preserve plants through the National Collections. National Collection holders do invaluable work to protect and conserve the diversity of our rich flora for future generations to enjoy.
The National Collections are at the heart of the work of Plant Heritage. Our National Collection holders create and curate living plant libraries. The collections of plants they keep may be grouped botanically, or may have a shared history or geography. Collections are usually available for people to view by appointment, or on an open day. These events give visitors a great opportunity to see collections not usually exhibited in their entirety. Collections provide opportunities for plant research and conservation. Look out for virtual visits on

National Collection holders

Our National Collection holders are passionate about the plants in their care. After many years of working closely with their chosen group of plants they become experts in their field and are always keen to share their expertise.

Holders may be individuals, plant nurseries, public and botanic gardens or groups of people who share the collection across different locations.

You don’t need a huge garden – some collections are held in the tiniest of spaces – in greenhouses, on allotments or even indoors.

If you're interested in a group of plants or already have a collection you’d like to develop further, please consider helping to preserve the diversity of garden plants by becoming a National Collection holder.

The National Collections contain about 95,000 plants, held across 650 collections. This represents a huge resource for gardeners, nurserymen, garden designers, researchers, plant breeders and those interested in historical gardens and landscapes. Being part of this conservation scheme ensures that there will be a resource for generations to come.

Plant Heritage | 01483 447540

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.