Prior to the existence of Plant Heritage in 1978, the UK was at risk of losing some of its most precious and historic cultivated plants due to disease, fashion, complacency and the pressures of commerce.
We are the only national organisation dedicated to preserving garden cultivars, and the old or rare garden flowering plants that do not lend themselves to modern horticultural commerce.
Plants go in and out of fashion and cultivars consequently get lost unless active steps are taken to conserve them. Many auricula cultivars, for example, are known only by illustrations in books, double-flowered primroses were nearly completely lost to cultivation. Many of the old pinks and carnations are no more.