New National Collection of Eucomis at Hardwick Hall

Plant Heritage is delighted to welcome a brand new Collection of Eucomis spp.to its nationwide programme of National Plant Collections.
 
The Collection has been established in the grounds of the stunning National Trust property, Hardwick Hall, in Derbyshire by Outdoors Manager Ian Hunt. “We were keen to fulfil the National Trust’s remit of plant conservation and establishing a National Collection seemed the right thing to do,” says Ian.
 
The gardens had included a number of hardy Eucomis in its herbaceous borders since 1985 and Ian and his team have built on this to create an extensive Collection under glass in the nursery. New material is sourced from UK based specialist nurseries as well as Kew Gardens for some of the more unusual cultivars. In order to complete the Collection Ian is keen to source E. reichenbachii, E. schiiffii and E. grimshawii and would love to be contacted if anyone can help him in the search.
 
Eucomis originates from South Africa and is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, commonly known as the pineapple flower due to its stout stems covered in star shaped flowers. The name Eucomis stems from the Greek, meaning ‘pleasing hair of head’, thus referring to the tuft of leaves which comes out of the crown of the plants.
 
Speaking on the new National Collection Plant Heritage Conservation Officer Mercy Morris said: “I am so pleased to see that the National Trust has started adding new National Plant Collections to our scheme. This is an indication not only of the importance that they place in the Collections, but also of the great wealth of cultivated plants held by the Trust. I also think that Eucomis are a fascinating group of plants, and not as widely grown as they should be.”
 
Hardwick Hall gardens and park are open every day except Christmas Day 9am-6pm. To find out more about the National Trust’s work at Hardwick visit their website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardwick.
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