Why Conserve Garden Plants?
Our global knowledge of biodiversity is uneven, largely because we have concentrated efforts to date to a species level and the components of biodiversity used by people. There are gaps in our knowledge of the plant world and these require a collaborative and combined effort by more than just large institutions, botanic gardens, specialist growers and nurseries. The conservation of our plants in Australian gardens could be where you and your garden space can make a difference.
While our botanic gardens have a limited capacity to maintain all of the plant species available in Australia (whether native, exotic or cultivated) and our commercial nurseries are required to maintain desirable and easily propagated and cultivated fashionable plants, you – as a home gardener, plant collector or specialist - have the ability to play a vital role in the conservation of our garden plants.
If you have filled a garden space with cultivars derived from species around the world, your role in maintaining the diversity of our plant life has already been recognised by conservation organisations worldwide. Your enthusiasm for our plant life, including the historically significant, rare and unusual is integral to their conservation.
So why conserve our garden plants? Of an estimated 400,000 global plant species, only about 70,000 are currently used medically. Scientists are continually discovering beneficial chemical components in previously untested plant species for an increasingly wide range of uses. The loss of any of our plant species and their older and less fashionable cultivars inevitably reduces the plant world's ability to not only develop disease resistant genes but also give us time to fully understand and appreciate the value of their components. In the meantime, the genetic diversity of our plant life directly affects our planet’s ability to sustain life in all its forms.
With the enormous consequences for the loss of a projected two thirds of the world’s plant species by the end of the 21st century, including the extinction of our own historically significant cultivars, the importance of gardening enthusiasts collectively registering and recording their efforts in developing and maintaining plant collections is critical. The GPCAA’s National Plant Collections Register™ has been established to provide a transparent scientific and horticultural pathway for significant plants held in all types of plant collections held in Australia.
Who are Collection Holders?
Plant collection holders are as diverse in their backgrounds and local environments as the plant collections they register. Private, commercial, corporate and institutional plant collections are held in an Australian wide range of soil and climatic regions. With a passion for and appreciation of their chosen plant grouping, collection holders come from amateur and professional backgrounds, sometimes with a horticultural and botanic background and sometimes not. They all have a desire to discover, learn, understand, record and share in the conservation of their chosen plants through their propagation. Plants remain in cultivation today as a result of the dedication and efforts of collection holders.
Why register a plant collection?
Registering a plant collection on the National Plant Collections Register™ ensures a transparent pathway for our horticultural, botanic, scientific & medicinal communities to its significant plants. It also enables access to a recognized holder who has successfully fulfilled GPCAA’s registration requirements and as such, acquired a high level of knowledge, skills, research and liaison in developing and maintaining the collection.
As a registered collection holder, you will be eligible to receive a:
- Certificate of Registration
- National Plant Collection Plaque
- Collection Holder Entrance Plaque
You will be:
- entitled to distinguish and promote your plant collection as a “National Plant Collection” registered on GPCAA’s National Plant Collections Register
- qualified to access a conservation framework for significant plants held in your collection
- recognized as an authority on your selected plant collection
- invited to share your knowledge and expertise
As a registered collection holder you will become part of a global network of plant conservation organisations helping to maintain our garden plant diversity.
Last updated 05 Oct 2011