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Featured Conservation Plants

The HPS Conservation Scheme aims to identify and preserve some of the garden plants in danger of being lost. HPS members across the country, either within their local group or individually, grow plants chosen for the scheme and report back on their experience of growing and propagating them.

Since the present scheme started in 1998, we have been successful in conserving over 30 plant varieties which we consider worthy of being grown in British gardens. However, a large number of potentially gardenworthy plants is still in need of conservation.

The scheme is open to all HPS members. You can find more information about it here.

You can find a full list of earlier 'Featured Conservation Plants' here.

If you are interested in making this or any other of our conservation plants available commercially, please contact our National Coordinator.

Conservation Feature July 2021

Geranium x oxonianum ‘Fran’s Star’ is doing well in my garden this summer, full of flowers and with lots of lush leaves. It is a clump forming plant, but with long stems of small star-shaped pink flowers and mid-green leaves with brown markings.

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May 2021 Conservation Feature

Spring is a time for dividing plants and making new ones. That’s exactly what I’ve done this week with my Geranium ‘Pink Delight’.
I kept it in its pot last year so I could trial it in different parts of the garden. Eventually I decided it belonged at the base of an arching trellis where I have planted a climbing rose. It gets sun there most of the day, and because I keep the rose well watered, plenty of moisture too. 

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March 2021 Conservation Feature

My latest Lockdown Project is to re-vamp an old bed on my allotment. This was almost the first section I worked and planted up when I took on the plot. It was meant to be an herbaceous bed in a sea of vegetables. It’s where I planted out my first Conservation Scheme plants

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February 2021 Conservation Feature

A plant name mystery has been discovered in the Conservation Scheme database. In January Cathy Rollinson posted on the Conservation Scheme Facebook page that the plant we list as Persicaria runcinata Needham’s form is probably really Persicaria sinuata. She found this after reading the description on the website of Growild Nursery, which now lists it as Persicaria sinuata EN. So which is it? 

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January 2021 Conservation Feature

I was reminded lately that even in winter, our plants have something to offer. There is often a subtle beauty to them that is not obvious in high summer.

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November 2020 Conservation Feature

This autumn I’m discovering a new Conservation Scheme plant – not one that is new to the scheme, but new to me. It has actually been in the scheme since 2010, introduced from the Hertfordshire group. 

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September 2020 Conservation Feature

The RHS Award of Garden Merit is given to plants after a period of assessment by experts and intended as a practical guide for the gardener. The HPS Conservation Scheme has several plants that hold AGM's such as Bergenia 'Pugsley's Pink' and Iris sibirica 'Peter Hewitt'.

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August 2020 Conservation Feature

Perennial sedums are among the easiest plants to grow and provide a long period of interest as well as being an excellent choice to attract bees and butterflies.

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June 2020 Conservation Feature

This month I thought it might be interesting to look at how some of the conservation plants have performed so far this year. There are many conservation plants still to come in the latter half of the year and I will do another review in the autumn. 

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May 2020 Conservation Feature

Dianthus 'Gold Dust' is said to have been raised from a batch of Allwoodii Alpinus Group seed around 1970 and named by S. Jackson in 1981 who found the plant in a garden in the East Yorkshire town of Beverley. The garden owner had bought it from a stallholder at a local fete who had grown it from seed. 

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April 2020 Conservation Feature

Geranium x oxonianum hybrids (a cross between Gendressii and Gerversicolor) are common with over 60 listed in the RHS Plant Finder in 2019, so with plenty to choose from why add G. x ox. 'Diane's Treasure' to the Conservation Scheme? It was suggested as suitable for conservation last year and has not been listed in the Plant Finder since 2016.

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March 2020 Conservation Feature

A new HPS booklet on Border Phlox will be published later this year, and it seems appropriate that we have several more phlox that are new to the Conservation List. Phlox paniculata 'Maude Stella Dagley' was featured in January, but here are four more of these lovely border perennials being grown and assessed for the Conservation Scheme this year.

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February 2020 Conservation Feature

Epimedium 'Milky Way' forms a mature clump approximately 30cm x 30cm; the new spring foliage is attractively speckled with deep purple and leaves mature to green with a silver overlay on the main veins; these are semi-evergreen, often persisting through the winter. Clusters of small white flowers with yellow stamens are held on long stems in April and May. 

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January 2020 Conservation Feature

Phlox paniculata is native to Eastern USA and Canada and plants with mauve flowers were brought to Britain around 1730, but it was not until the early 1900's that plant breeders set about improving plants for the cut flower trade although it became popular in late Victorian and Edwardian gardens and a favourite of Gertrude Jekyll.

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November Conservation Feature

One of the new introductions to the Conservation Scheme this year, suggested by Southern Counties Group following a recommendation from one of the National Collection Holders, is Chrysanthemum E.H. Wilson'.

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October Conservation Feature

 It was decided that it is time to say goodbye to a few plants that have featured on the list for a number of years because they are shrubs, plants with a woody structure and conservation of this type of plant does not fulfil our constitutional objective to preserve the older and less well known hardy perennials.

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August Conservation Feature

Plants in the Conservation Scheme should be completely hardy and perform well in the garden, but we don't grow plants in isolation and I've been looking out for some interesting planting combinations.

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July Conservation Feature

HPS members have a wealth of experience of growing hardy perennial plants and are asked to propose plants they think are worthy of conservation, particularly some of the older cultivars that are hard to find in nurseries or garden centres. 

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June Conservation Feature

Chrysanthemum 'Romantica' was suggested for inclusion by HPS Hampshire Group in 2018 whose members have grown it since 2012. The name spelt with a 'c' as here is the RHS accepted name although a plant listed by Plant Heritage is C. 'Romantika', with a 'k', and may well be the same plant. 

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May Conservation Feature

Phlox paniculata 'Lady Clare' is the fourth of the plants introduced to the Conservation Scheme last year. The Hampshire Group thought it worthy of inclusion because the large pale pink flowers with a deeper soft pink eye have a wonderful fragrance. 

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March Conservation Feature

Penstemon 'Margery Fish' AGM is a hardy, semi-evergreen perennial with narrow, slightly glossy leaves and slender dense panicles of purple-tinged pale blue flowers up to 3cm in length.

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February's Conservation Feature

HPS member Sue Ward spotted Phlox paniculata 'Bosvigo Pink' growing in the garden of Bosvigo House near Truro, Cornwall in the early 1990's

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January's Conservation Feature

Hemerocallis 'Hyde Hall' is not a particularly old cultivar nor was it widely available commercially - the name is only 'tentatively accepted' by the RHS and it does not appear in the Plant Finder. 

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December's Conservation Feature

The final Conservation Feature of 2018 is an appeal for information about two plants that seem to have disappeared from cultivation. 

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