Given the interest sparked by red labels at last year’s annual Plant exchange, they made a great return this year, highlighting even more threatened plants.
The rules haven’t changed though : plants tagged as “Endangered in Cultivation” are rare commercially but found in at least one National Collection or notable garden, those tagged as “Vulnerable in cultivation” have been found in more than 3 collections, while those tagged as “Critical in Cultivation” are the only examples existing in the UK…to our knowledge of course.
Although some of the plants had not managed the journey to Winchester, there were plenty of rarities to be discovered in the room, from large, variegated Begonia to colourful alpine Primula. But first, the little red labels have to be pinned to the right pots, a painstaking task with so many plants on offer.
Here are a few mouthwatering examples of the plants being exchanged – a perk for members only!
Bergenia ‘Traum’ (meaning ‘Dream’ in german – how poetic), bred in the 1980s, and endangered in cultivation.
Pulmonaria ‘Abbey Dore Pink’, a lovely lungwort cultivar originating from Abbey Dore Court Garden in Hereforshire, and critically endangered in cultivation.
And finally, Erysimum ‘Joseph’s Coat’, an interesting wallflower, endangered in cultivation. It was featured in Kalani’s article on last year Plant Exchange, as being passed on to the Surrey and North West Group. This one is now on its way to Suffolk…
On Saturday, members from the local groups happily collected their respective boxes.
Peter Foley from the North West Group handing over plants to Lloyd Kenyon, National Plant Exchange Coordinator.
Margaret was delivering the Norfolk group plants for the exchange to Lyndsey Pink, Plant Exchange Coordinator from Hampshire when Lyndsey realised that the Galanthus ‘Zwanenburg’ – a rare snowdrop, identified as vulnerable in cultivation – would be delivered to her, hence the happy smile!
On to the difficult part : fitting all the plants safely in the cars!
Now, it’s up to local groups to propagate these threatened plants (and those which are less threatened), share them between members, sell them in plant fairs, and of course, put them back into the Plant Exchange for next year.
Thanks to all those involved, your efforts do make a difference and help us conserve these fragile beauties!