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Plant Heritage highlights missing National Plant Collections during RHS Hampton Court

Plant Heritage has highlighted ten missing plant genera which currently are not represented within National Plant Collections, as part of a campaign to be launched during RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (5 to 10 July).

The Missing Genera campaign will call upon the public to join the charity in conserving plants and encourage people with a passion for plants to bring together a National Plant Collection of their own.

Due to the increasing problem of environmental change, vagaries of plant fashions, and loss of habitat, our diversity of plants is now under threat. Through Plant Heritage’s National Plant Collections, of which there are currently around 630 in the UK and Ireland, the charity plays a vital role in protecting and conserving the rich diversity of cultivated plants. However many genera are not currently represented within National Plant Collections and the charity is now calling on the public to join them in ensuring these plants remain for future generations.

National Collection Holders collect and conserve the widest possible range of plants in private gardens, allotments, nurseries, local parks, botanic gardens and historic estates. 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.

Representing a diversity of plant growing forms from annuals to shrubs, and with a high percentage of cultivars at risk of extinction, the ten plant groups which the charity would like to see in new National Plant Collections are:

•    Achillea 
•    Antirrhinum
•    Ginkgo
•    Verbascum 
•    Eryngium
•    Ranunculus
•    Aeonium
•    Caryopteris 
•    Verbena 
•    Forsythia 

CEO Sarah Quarterman said: “Through our Missing Genera campaign, we hope to raise awareness of the need for cultivated plant conservation with the help of the gardeners of Britain. Once a plant is gone, sadly it is gone forever, but this is an opportunity for everyone interested in gardening and plants to learn about the need for preservation for future generations to enjoy. We’re looking forward to reaching more people at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next month and will have several of the missing plants within the Plant Heritage zone inside the Floral Marquee. Please come and say hello to our team there.”

This year for the first time the Plant Heritage Zone showcasing National Plant Collections will be at the centre of the Floral Marquee at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and will allow the public to see plants from an unprecedented 37 National Plant Collections, displayed by 30 Collection Holders. There are also 3 new exhibitors this year with displays of Echium, Hakonechloa and Fuchsia.

Visitors to the Show will have the opportunity to meet the Collection Holders, find out about our plant conservation work in the Plant Heritage membership area and purchase seeds, including some rare and unusual varieties, from our Seed Shop.

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