Ten different types of plants including aubrieta and berberis are now at risk as they fail to find a home in National Plant Collections.

Plant lovers throughout the West Country have been urged to help to save some spectacular UK’s garden plants, which it seems, are not being cared for properly.

Horticultural charity Plant Heritage is calling for anyone passionate about plants to help save ten plant groups which could be at risk, as part of its annual ‘Missing Genera’ campaign.

The campaign comprises ten different types of plants many of which are known and loved in the West Country, including Aubrieta, which is often one of the first bursts of colour in spring and the beautifully scented Hoya, perfect in any home or conservatory. These aren’t currently represented by one of the charity’s 650 plus National Plant Collections, which means that the range of species and cultivars are not being cared for and they’re at risk of being lost – something Plant Heritage has been working hard to prevent since 1978.

Vicki Cooke, conservation manager, explains: “The Missing Genera campaign showcases many types of garden plant that don’t have a National Plant Collection to look after them. Anyone can help by starting their own National Plant Collection, which they can care for, grow and ultimately help to conserve.”


The ten plant varieties in need of a home are:

Arisaema – Also called the Snake Lily, there are many species and a handful of known cultivars grown in the UK. These striking plants have unusual flowers.

Aubrieta – One of the firsts bursts of colour in spring, aubrieta boasts either pink, purple or blue flowers which light up a rock garden.

Berberis – Also known as barberry, these deciduous or evergreen shrubs stand-out due to their colourful flowers and berries – as well as their thorns!

Daphne – Native to Britain and other parts of Europe, these winter or spring flowering shrubs have incredibly fragranced flowers. 

Elaeagnus – If a delicious floral scent is what you’re looking for in a plant, look no further! Also called silverberry they can flower in spring and early summer, or in autumn.

Gaura – Pretty in shades of pink and white, gaura flowers from late summer into autumn. They’re drought tolerant deciduous perennials.

Hoya – These beautifully scented plants are perfect in a home or conservatory. Also known as wax flowers, there are 18 species and cultivars.

Papaver (oriental group) – These pretty perennial poppies are a stalwart of early summer. Since the 19th century oriental poppies have been bred to produce a range of coloured flowers, from pastel shades to deep plums.

Robinia – With its eye-catching, hanging bunches of pink, white or yellow flowers, this tall member of the legume family needs space to grow – and for their beauty to be appreciated!

Tradescantia – A genus of two halves; the indoor houseplant boasts foliage of purple, green and white, often with no or insignificant flowers. 

Anyone interested in starting a National Plant Collection of one of the groups, visit www.plantheritage.org.uk/national-plant-collections/start-a-national-plant-collection

The Missing Genera campaign began in 2016 and every year Plant Heritage highlights ten different groups of plant not represented in a National Plant Collection. 

Plant Heritage’s existing National Plant Collections are held in an array of spaces, from indoor shelves and small conservatories, to large gardens and greenhouses. Found in all corners of the country the National Plant Collections contain over 95,000 plants from miniature orchids to mighty oaks.

To find out more about Plant Heritage, its National Plant Collections or for information about how to become a collection holder, visit www.plantheritage.org.uk

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