The whole Living Collection, spread across the four sites (Benmore, Dawyck, Edinburgh and Logan) should be regarded as a Research Plant Collection and is available for staff, students and external colleagues to use in this capacity.
That said, there are specific groups of plants that are currently being used for 'Active' Research Projects be it for Systematics & Evolution, Biodiversity, Conservation Biology & Population Genetics or for our most fundamental taxonomic work, the description of new species.
The research collections also provide material for anatomical and cytological study. They provide the raw material for the Garden's research in evolutionary development (Evo-Devo) which draws heavily upon the most modern genomic information and technology, but is entirely dependent upon sources of living tissue for its experiments.
Another important aspect of the living collections to the wider work of the Gardens Education lies in their value to the HND & BSc in Horticulture, to the MSc course in Biodiversity and Taxonomy, and to PhD projects.
The Research Plant Collections can be broken down into 3 main groups