Plant Guardian scheme launched to save rare garden plants

The Plant Guardian scheme is aimed at anyone who would like to get involved in garden plant conservation but doesn’t have the space or time to own a National Plant Collection. If anyone has a rare or threatened plant in their garden they can sign up as a Plant Guardian, so that there is a formal record of the plant. The plant can then be propagated to ensure its future conservation. So far, the charity has discovered some very rare, old cultivars that were thought to have disappeared which can now be reproduced and hopefully added to National Collections for safe keeping.


Speaking for the launch Christine said she was delighted to be at the forefront of the project saying: “This is an ideal opportunity for the man in the street to ensure we save rare plants so that future generations can enjoy and appreciate treasures of the plant world as we have.”
Since launching the scheme we have been delighted with the number of plants registered by members, including a number of very rare lavender plants by Tim Upson, recently appointed new RHS director of Horticulture. Tim registered Lavandula dentata var. candicans ‘Agadir’ which he collected from Morocco, being impressed with how attractive the plant was. He was surprised that it is not listed in the RHS Plant Finder. His other Plant Guardian, Lavandula angustiifolia ‘Nana atropurpurea’ has only one other listing with National Collection Holder, Simon Charlesworth.
Tim says he hopes the scheme will complement the National Plant Collection scheme and create a stronger conservation network across the UK. “We know many threatened cultivated plants may still be grown in the nations back gardens but lost to our collective knowledge. It’s exciting to think and hope that the Plant Guardian scheme may help to rediscover some of these plants and ensure their future conservation.”
 To become a plant guardian members need to know the name of their plant and if the plant is deemed rare. They can do this by looking in the RHS Plant Finder. If the plant is listed in two or less nurseries it can be registered as a plant Guardian. But if you would like to become a plant Guardian and don’t currently have a plant, don’t worry – members can request free rare plants through the charity’s annual plant exchange. To discover more about the scheme, register a plant and join Plant Heritage please visit the website: . Alternatively please contact National Office on: 01483 447540


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