New National Collection of Nerine for Plant Heritage

Plant Heritage is delighted to welcome a dazzling new Collection of Nerine sarniensis cvs to its nation-wide programme of National Plant Collections.
The Collection has been established by Exeter based Steve Eyre who houses the plants in a series of heated greenhouses and polytunnels in his back garden, which lies within the 8 acre grounds of Bickham House, where Steve is head gardener.


Speaking on his love of the plants Steve said that he had always loved Nerine since he was an apprentice at Bicton College in the 1960’s. However, it was when he visited Nerine breeder Ken Hall on the Isle of Wight around 10 years ago that his love for the plants developed. “I walked into his greenhouse and was smitten,” said Steve.
Steve has grown his Collection over the years through bulb exchanges within the Nerine & Amaryllid Society and by purchasing plants from Exbury, where some of the cultivars were bred in the 1930’s by the de Rothschild family. When Ken Hall retired Steve purchased a quarter of Ken’s Collection and has now grown his Collection to over 3,500 pots.
Although the plants are susceptible to frost and need to be kept above 4ºc Steve says the plants are not labour intensive. His advice to people thinking of growing them is not to over water. “Better under water than over water,” said Steve. “If you’re in doubt as to whether to water or not, don’t,” he added. 
Nerine is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family and is native to South Africa, often associated with rocky and arid habitats. Although widely described as lilies, nerines are not significantly related to the true lilies, Lilium, but more closely resemble their relatives, Amaryllis and Lycoris.

Speaking on the new Collection, Plant Heritage Plant Conservation Officer Mercy Morris said: “The variety of form and colour in Nerine is not often appreciated by gardeners, and it is good to know that their appeal is still strong with Collection Holders. It is always a challenge to take on a collection that requires protection, but Steve is meticulous and enthusiastic and will be an asset to the scheme.”
Back to news
Anuual membership

Donate and support Plant Heritage

"By supporting the Threatened Plants Appeal, you will be instrumental in not only safeguarding it, but also ensuring that our work carries on." Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh

Johnsons Seeds raising money for Plant Conservation

Johnsons Seeds will donate 25p to Plant Heritage from all sales of 'Pink Pearl' - from its new World Botanic Seed Range

World Botanic seed packs

Find a local group

Reg. charity No 1004009/SC041785      Reg Company No. 2222953