These important pollinator plants are missing from National Collections says Plant Heritage

Plant Heritage, the leading charity working to conserve the nation’s garden plants, is highlighting ten pollinator friendly plant groups which are not currently represented within the National Plant Collections® such as poppies, hollyhocks and the more unusual Grevillea.

The ‘Missing Genera’ campaign encourages people with a passion for plants to bring together a National Plant Collection of their own and join the Plant Heritage community in growing, sharing and saving plants.
A spokesman for Butterfly Conservation said: “Butterflies, moths and other pollinating insects depend upon a wide diversity of plant species for food and shelter. At a time when many species of butterflies and moths are in a state of decline any scheme that seeks to protect the UK’s plant heritage is most welcome.” 

The Missing Genera campaign, which launched in 2016, has already resulted in several new National Plant Collections for Plant Heritage, including Ginkgo and Achillea, as well as potential collections of Aeonium, Eryngium and enquiries into several other missing plant groups.

Missing Genera for 2018
  • Alcea
  • Cosmos
  • Daphne
  • Grevillia
  • Knautia
  • Lamium
  • Papaver
  • Sisyrinchium
  • Verbascum
  • Verbena

Why Missing Genera matters

Plant Heritage aims to increase the number and diversity of National Plant Collections (there are currently around 630), to conserve the diversity of our nation’s cultivated plants (plants that we have collected, bred and grown).

Sadly, plant varieties disappear for all kinds of reasons, including:

  • environmental changes, eg, climate change,
  • pests and diseases,
  • fashion,
  • and lack of horticultural skills.

The National Plant Collections® are at the heart of what Plant Heritage does. They are created and curated by individuals or organisations who are passionate about protecting the diversity of our rich flora for today and tomorrow. By seeking out these plants - many no longer commercially available - propagating them, researching their history and properties and making this knowledge publicly available, Collection Holders are custodians of biodiversity.

Shows manager, Gill Groombridge said: “Through our Missing Genera campaign, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of conserving our nation’s unique flora. In our 40th year, we’re looking forward to reaching out to more people at both the RHS Chatsworth and RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows and will have several examples of the missing plant groups on display at both shows. We hope this will inspire show visitors to come and say hello and learn more about our work.”

Plant Heritage will once again feature in the floral marquee at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show on 6-10 June. Many regional National Plant Collections will be on display to inspire curiosity in visitors – from the very unusual living stones (Lithops), to the edible rhubarb and wild strawberries, exotic looking Eucomis, stunning Euphorbia, Solenostemon, Weigelia and even several house plants, Peperomia and Clivia.

To celebrate the charity’s 40th anniversary, the Plant Heritage Zone will feature a special display in the Floral Marquee at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 3-8 July. The zone will also provide the setting for a range of collection holders to showcase their plants from 13 National Plant Collections including small and miniature hostas, plants raised by Hilliers and Polypodium.

Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court will have the opportunity to meet National Plant Collection holders and find out about the conservation work of Plant Heritage. Visitors can also purchase seeds, including some rare and unusual varieties, from our Seed Shop at Hampton Court.

Image copyright and captions:

Alcea 'Halo Cerise' ©Botanics Nursery
Cosmos bippinatus
Grevillea 'Apricot White'
Lamium orvala
Papaver rhoeas 'Cedric Morris' ©Margeret Wyllie
Sisyrinchium 'EK Balls'
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