New National Collection of Hebe

Plant Heritage is delighted to announce that an historic and endangered Collection of Hebe has been added to its nation-wide programme of National Plant Collections.
 
The Collection, which is based at Plumpton College, East Sussex, was originally created by Hebe and Parahebe expert Douglas Chalk, himself a student at the College in the 1930’s and was rescued by the Hebe Society from Cornwall in 2009 and moved to Plumpton.

This valuable collection of plants contains many rare and endangered plants with 33 of the 63 cultivars being threatened. Of that, 23 are only in cultivation at Plumpton College.
 
Speaking on the new collection status, collection curator Gary Jones said the Collection is a valuable resource for the college and has enthused and motivated many since its arrival. “It’s a great resource for the students to work on research and propagation,” he said.
 
Maintenance work, propagation and collection documentation is on-going by both staff and students and has enabled the College to undertake new research work, most notably in assisting Plant Heritage with our Threatened Plants Project.

 

Hebe is a genus of plants native to New Zealand, Rapa in French Polynesia, the Falkland Islands and South America. The genus is named after the Greek Goddess of youth, Hebe. Known for being a dwarf shrub, Hebe can grow as a tree of up to 7 metres.
 
Speaking on the new Collection Plant Heritage Plant Conservation Officer Mercy Morris said: “Hebe is a genus which, although popular has remarkably few collections, and I am very pleased to see this new one especially as it is a recreation of a historical collection. The commitment and enthusiasm of the College is a delight.”
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