Showcasing regional National Collections at RHS Chatsworth Show 2019

Leading garden plant conservation charity Plant Heritage will showcase regional National Collections highlighting the diversity of plants conserved within these collections at the RHS Chatsworth Show 2019.  Plant nurtured by our ‘Plant Guardians’ will be on show, and our 2019 'Missing Genera’ campaign will be featured.

Collections on show include Sally Williams’ collection of Peperomia,  in Derbyshire, which is a very large genus of over 1500 species found widely in tropical regions, although the largest diversity is concentrated in northern South America.  They grow in crevices on tree bark (epiphytic), around the bases of trees, or among rocks in arid locations. To cope with these varied conditions, they have evolved with an incredible diversity of habit and leaf size, shape, texture and colour.  Leaves may vary between thin and flat, to plumped up with a thick, transparent, upper surface. They absorb moisture from a humid atmosphere, so they do not have to rely on roots for water. Peperomia are suitable as house plants as they are adapted to the low light conditions found under tree canopies. The flowers are tiny, less than a third of a millimetre in diameter, and are pollinated by beetles and small insects.
Other regional National Collections on show are: Eucomis from National Trust property Hardwick Hall, Rhubarb from National Trust Clumber Park, Solenostemon, held by Leeds City Council, Hosta from Staffordshire, Aechmea and Neoregalia from Liverpool, Lithops, Echinopsis and Haworthiopsis from Abbey Brook Cactus Nursery in nearby Matlock.  The National Plant Collections are at the heart of what Plant Heritage do, they are in effect living plant libraries representing the diversity of cultivated plants. Currently, there are more than 640 registered National Plant Collections.
Plant Heritage is keen to encourage new National Plant Collections, so the display will highlight the following 10 plant groups as part of the  2019 missing genera campaign, where there is not currently a National Plant Collection registered. The list includes Armeria, Cosmos, Echinacea, Echinops, Helianthemum, Knautia, Papaver, Pittosporum, Verbascum and Veronica.  What is your plant passion?  Can you help Plant Heritage by starting a collection of one of these pollinator-friendly plants that are currently missing from National Plant Collections?
Dahlia ‘Chatsworth Splendour’ – as named in a competition by Plant Heritage will be at the show.
Plant Heritage run a very important ‘Plant Guardian’ scheme, which allows people across the UK to become actively involved in conservation of cultivated plants from their own back garden, greenhouse, allotment or windowsill.  If you have a rare or threatened plant you can register as a Plant Guardian. Plant Heritage will assess whether your plant is rare in cultivation and if so the name of the plant will be listed on the Plant Heritage website, so people searching for it know that it is being kept safe by a members.  Even if the plant you are growing is not rare, it could be an unfashionable variety that has disappeared from the trade, or be at risk in its natural habitat. By propagating and sharing your plant, the hope is that it will eventually no longer be classified as threatened, and will be safe for future generations, so please join in
Images: A selection of Peperomia from Sally William’s National Collection, a selection of Eucomis from the National collection at NT Hardwick Hall. 
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