The Scottish Plants Project

Involves work on the conservation of Scottish flowering plants and ferns. Many species are vulnerable or endangered due to climate change or changing land use and are in cultivation at the RBGE. Some of the species are described below. 

Norwegian mugwort (Artemisia norvegica)Norwegian mugwort grows on three tundra-like mountain tops in Wester Ross and Sutherland. The plants grow on stony, windswept ridges, anchored by thick roots.  Permanent plots have been discreetly defined at the known locations to monitor the survival of this plant.  Climate change modeling has suggested this species could be lost by the end of the century. 

Purple ramping-fumitory (Fumaria purpurea)Purple ramping-fumitory is a nationally scarce arable species that is only found in Britain. Because Fumitories are difficult to tell apart their distribution is not fully recorded, and careful examination might reveal that this plant is less rare than it appears to be. Eight species of Fumitory are found in Scotland; workshops have been held to provide the opportunity to look at the species before going out to study them in the field. 

Marsh clubmoss (Lycopodiella inundata) Marsh clubmossis also nationally scarce.  As it grows on disturbed water margins many sites have been lost as ponds have been drained, especially in the south-east of Scotland.  The British Pteridological Society helps monitor an unusual population on a flushed slope near Loch Lomond.  

Whorled Solomon's-seal (Polygonatum verticillatum) Whorled Solomon's-sealis restricted to ten locations on steep riversides in the southern Highlands of Scotland where it often does not flower or set seed.  A population that was being eroded from a river bank was rescued, propogated at the RBGE and reintroduced in the same area.  


Woolly willow (Salix lanata)Woolly willow is now restricted to only fourteen alpine sites in Scotland. Nine of these sites now have very few plants, are vulnerable to grazing and are in danger of losing these last remnants. Some plants are too far apart to ensure pollination and seed development.  Augmentations and reintroductions have been carried out to help restore populations.  

Oblong woodsia (Woodsia ilvensis) Oblong woodsiais currently found in only seven sub-alpine sites across Britain although some of the populations only have one or two plants, with no regeneration.  Many historic locations have completely disappeared.  A conservation collection grown from spores collected from all the British sites is maintained in Edinburgh.  Some of these plants have been used in reintroductions.  The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is the Lead partner for the UK BAP species. 

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)