Leading plant conservation and membership charity Plant Heritage has awarded Scientific Status to two National Collections®:
*Galanthus, held by Margaret and David MacLennan, Cumbria
*Aucuba japonica cultivars, held by Linda Eggins, Worcestershire
Attaining the award is a rare achievement – there are only 20 Scientific Status Collections from a total of 637 National Collections. Scientific Status is awarded to Collection Holders who are researching and developing their collection more actively, furthering the knowledge of a genus or plant group.
Activities that help achieve Scientific Status include:
- evidence of published research
- a focus on sharing knowledge and plant material
- detailed record-keeping, such as photographic records or herbarium specimens
- in depth knowledge of the conservation status of their plants, history of the cultivars and the breeders
Plant Heritage CEO, Sarah Quarterman, said: “I am delighted that these two National Collection Holders have been recognised for their research and expertise in this way. Achieving Scientific Status is a significant amount of work and we salute them.”
About the Collections
Galanthus – Margaret and David MacLennan
The Collection began in 2007 and grew out of Margaret’s longstanding love of snowdrops. It now comprises over 1500 taxa, making it probably the largest systematic, accessible and documented collection of Galanthus in the UK. The Collection plays an important conservation and research role. It spans the whole spectrum of Galanthus, including many older varieties which were thought lost.
Commenting on the award, Margaret MacLennan said:
“With over 1500 taxa, our National Collection is now well established as a resource for the snowdrop world. Scientific Status will allow us to take our activities to a new level, contributing to a greater understanding of all aspects of taxonomy, conservation and cultivation of Galanthus.”
Aucuba japonica cultivars – Linda Eggins
Linda Eggins has held a National Collection of Aucuba japonica since 1995. She soon discovered that although there were many garden-worthy cultivars of Aucuba japonica grown in the past, these were now unfamiliar to British gardeners as they had fallen out of fashion. To remind gardeners of the beauty and usefulness of aucubas in the garden, Linda spent the next 20 years documenting information on this under-researched genus. In 2007 she went on a study trip to Japan to photograph Aucuba growing wild in their native habitat, and to visit Japanese nurseries to see how they are grown and used in Japanese gardens.
Reflecting on her award, Linda said: “Achieving Scientific Status confirms that the wider scientific community respects and values the result of long hours spent in researching the collection and seeking to usefully disseminate information.”