Behind-the-scenes glasshouses for quarantine, propagation, education, research, and back-up collections
Approximately one third of all plant species grown by RBGE can be found in the Research Glasshouses.
These behind-the-scenes glasshouses underpin many of RBGE’s core activities by providing facilities to grow, conserve, propagate, quarantine and actively research the living collection.
While the entire Living Collection across the four RBGE sites can be regarded collectively as a research plant collection, there are specific groups held in the Research Glasshouses that are more actively used for scientific studies with the plants in the Research Glasshouses being used every day by students, interns, scientists, artists and visiting associates.
The key groups grown and worked on in the Research Glasshouses are Streptocarpus, Arabian, Begoniaceae, Conifer, Gesneriaceae, Zingiberaceae, Pteridophyte and Rhododendron.
Propagating our own material allows us to regenerate and multiply collections as required; years of horticultural research helps to determine the best methods of propagation for each species, many of which have never been in cultivation before.
The quarantine facility is where all plants arriving from overseas must go for inspection and isolation period of at least 3 months. This is to avoid importing potentially devastating pests and diseases that could spread to the countryside or infect commercial crops.
The Research Glasshouses also hold back-up and historic collections to allow for the dynamic curation of display houses, as well as seasonal highlights such as flowering orchids, chilli peppers and giant waterlilies.
The glasshouses in figures
- 8 key research groups
- 4,300 species
- 4055 taxa
- 314 families
- 16 glasshouses
- 11,740 pots
- 3200 sq.m