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Green thumbs urged to set up National Plant Collections

by | 25 Jun 24 | Nature & Biodiversity, News | 1 comment

Plant Heritage is calling on green thumbs across the country to start a National Plant Collection in an effort to safeguard potentially at risk species.

The horticultural conservation charity recently published its new ‘Missing Collections’ list, highlighting 15 environmentally friendly plant groups that are, at present, not part of a National Plant Collection.

Plant Heritage fears that without a representative to care for the listed species. They are at heightened risk of being lost, should they fall out of fashion or become unavailable from nurseries.

All 15 plant groups listed hold high environmental value, with many providing a source of nectar for pollinators.

Potentilla ‘Gloire de Nancy’. Credit Clive Nichols Photography

Plant Heritage CEO, Gwen Hines discusses the importance of plants being involved in an ongoing conservation scheme. The majority are created and cared for by green thumb individuals, but specialist plant nurseries, gardening groups, botanical gardens and other organisations also hold collections.

“Since 2016 we’ve highlighted many different plants that need a forever home and I’m thrilled that 12 different collections have been set up as a result, including hollyhocks and Hoya. Most recently, a collection of fragrant Daphne was accredited in March and now thrives at RHS Garden Wisley having previously been listed as a Missing Collection. It is now safe, and we hope that other plants on this year’s list will become part of a National Plant Collection soon too.”

There are currently over 700 different National Plant Collections in the UK, containing over 95,000 plants.

Back in March this year, the UK’s first pub and prison were both awarded National Plant Collection status for their Crocosmia cvs and Tulbaghias respectively.

Some of the plants on this year’s Mission Collections 2024 list will be featuring on Plant Heritage’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival stand (PH117a) in early July.

To start a National Plant Collection of one of the plants listed, or to find out more about Plant Heritage, visit

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Hello, I’m all in favour of supporting plant collections and the use of heritage plants. But what’s this ‘green thumbs’ business. ‘Green thumb’ is an American term, In Britain we have ‘green fingers’.

    PS I see that (as too often) this site’s spell checker is American…

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