We work on some of the most endangered plant species in Wales to ensure their long-term survival. Working both in the Garden and in the natural habitat, we attempt to provide effective, integrated conservation for these threatened plants.

The Welsh Rare Plants Project is led by Dr Natasha de Vere (National Botanic Garden of Wales) and Dr Tim Rich (National Museum of Wales), with the different institutions leading on various species. Individual projects are with conservation partners throughout the UK.

Additional information: Welsh Rare Plant Project at the National Museum of Wales

Endemic whitebeams (Sorbus spp.)

We have a large collection of whitebeam trees and are working to conserve Welsh endemic species. We are collaborating on a PhD project with the National Museum of Wales, the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust and Exeter University to investigate the origins and conservation of these rare trees.

Wild cotoneaster (Cotoneaster cambricus)

We are working with the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University, and Chester Zoo to investigate the taxonomy and status of this plant; there are only six original plants remaining in the wild. We have used an air-layering propagation technique to collect cuttings of the individuals in the wild to create a collection at the Garden and are investigating its taxonomy by comparing its DNA to related species found throughout Europe.

Spreading bellflower (Campanula patula)

We have surveyed the historical sites for this critically endangered plant and provided recommendations on how this species should be conserved to the Countryside Council for Wales. We are carrying out research to find out its habitat requirements and investigating its genetics so that we can inform its management and restoration.

Meadow thistle (Cirsium dissectum)

A key species of the threatened rhos pasture habitat, we are working on how understanding the ecology of this plant can help to inform its conservation and that of the habitat within which it is found.