Leading plant conservation charity, Plant Heritage is highlighting the importance of its nationwide National Collection Scheme after recent research shows just how vital garden plants are to medical research.
Recent research published by the NHS found that naturally occurring galanthine in snowdrops can help improve symptoms of dementia in people with Alzheimer’s disease. The compound was found to slow the progression of the disease.
Although galanthine is found in a couple of species of snowdrop, Galanthus caucasicus and Galanthus voronowii, Plant Heritage has both housed within its National Collection Scheme. This scheme, which has over 630 National Collections throughout the UK are vital not just for the survival of British gardens but also for the future of medical research.
Speaking on this news Plant Heritage chief executive, Genevieve Melbourne Webb said: “Scientists are still discovering the unique medical and chemical properties of certain plants. Many more may have healing properties which have yet to be revealed, which makes it even more important to preserve these precious natural resources.”
The work of collection holders is vital in maintaining the wealth of knowledge and genetic continuity of many plants, which without their work would be lost forever.