News from the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee – May 2019
The RHS recently announced that it now has half a million members, but many, even those who have been members for a long time, probably have little knowledge of how the RHS works. This occasional blog will give some information about the matters discussed by the Herbaceous Plant Committee (HPC), one of the seven Plant Committees.
A couple of years ago, I was invited to join the HPC as a Corresponding Member. This was readily accepted as a way of strengthening links between the HPS and the RHS. I have now been appointed a full member of the Committee which gives me a vote on the awarding of AGMs.
The Committees provide horticultural expertise from all corners of the sector, both amateur and professional, and people voluntarily commit their time to act as RHS ambassadors, helping to promote plant excellence, extend regional networks and to share the best in gardening. Some of the ways in which all the plant committees do this are:
- Giving talks, cultural demonstrations and advice at shows and other public events around the country
- Proposing plants for RHS Trials and contributing to trials forum expertise
- Assisting the RHS in its rolling review of Award of Garden Merit (AGM) plants and assessing plants for award at their committee meetings
- Providing links with plant societies, gardening clubs and other associations
Further information about the plant committees are on the RHS website at
The Herbaceous Plant Committee has a huge remit, covering the whole range of hardy herbaceous plants – not just perennials. The committee holds an annual event at an RHS Partner Garden where they offer advice to visitors and bring plants for discussion. This year, the Committee are planning to be at the Wisley Flower Show on 3rd September.
At a recent meeting, in February, the Committee reviewed the recommendations of the trials forum for the trial of late flowering Chrysanthemum (Cushion Mums) grown in containers at Wisley in 2016/2017 and Harlow Carr in 2017/2018. There was also discussion of the recent Round Table Assessment of Hosta. (Hosta 'Patriot' AGM pictured right)
Of particular interest to me was the news that Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Loofahsa Wheaten Gold’ has six suppliers listed in the 2019 RHS Plant Finder. This means that the Committee was able to ratify the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) which had been awarded following a trial of Perennial Yellow Daisies in 2002, subject to availability. This plant has been included in the HPS Conservation Scheme since 2005 and many members have found it to be an excellent garden plant.