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Threatened Plant of the Year 2022 competition launched this spring

7th February, 2022

Plant Heritage’s annual search for rare plants begins, with the winner crowned at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival this summer 

This spring, the search for rare and unusual plants begins as the annual Threatened Plant of the Year 2022 competition is launched by horticultural conservation charity Plant Heritage. 

Every year Plant Heritage calls for garden enthusiasts and flower fanatics across the country to enter any rare and unusual plants or flowers that aren’t commercially available. Anyone can take part (you don’t need to be a Plant Heritage member or National Plant Collection® Holder) but all plants entered must be a named cultivar that have been grown or sold in the UK or Ireland before 2012.  

The competition runs until 16th May, after which a shortlist will be selected by an expert panel from Plant Heritage. All shortlisted plants will be displayed for visitors to the prestigious RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival’s Floral Marquee in July to admire. This year, the overall winner will be crowned and will receive an engraved Threatened Plant of the Year 2022 vase, a winner’s certificate and a special plant label. 

To find out more, and to enter your rare plant, visit: www.plantheritage.org.uk/conservation/threatened-plant-of-the-year-competition-2022/ 

The 2021 overall winner was Peter Westbrook’s beautiful bloom Camellia × williamsii ‘Yesterday’, currently only found in National Plant Collections and a handful of other locations across the UK. The winner of the Public Vote, as chosen by visitors to Plant Heritage’s website, was Aspidistra ‘Irish Mist’, grown by Philip Oostenbrink in Kent. 

Vicki Cooke, Conservation Manager at Plant Heritage explains: “We launched this competition three years ago, and every year we see a stunning array of plants each with their own interesting history. Last year our winning plant had been growing in an Edinburgh garden for 35 years, but its owner hadn’t realised it was no longer commercially available. He thought the name may have been lost, until he found the original plant label from 1985 in a chocolate tin in his shed! Not every plant needs a remarkable story to win, but this story serves as a reminder that what you have in your garden may be perfect for our competition.” 

To find out more about Plant Heritage, its National Plant Collections or for information about how to become a Collection Holder, Plant Guardian or member, or to sponsor the National Plant Collections, visit www.plantheritage.org.uk  

Conserving the diversity of garden plants

eg: plant genus, common name, county, collection holder name.