Researching plant evolutionResearching plant evolution

Plant Evolution and Systematics

Understanding the diversity of the plant kingdom, and the relationships between the members of that kingdom, is one of the central roles of a Botanic Garden in the 21st century. We welcome visits from colleagues wishing to explore diversity and relationships among any of the plants in our living collection or herbarium.
We currently have specialist research collections of Ephedra, Lavandula, Sorbus and Tilia. We also hold the National Collections of Alchemilla, Bergenia, European Fritillaria, Geranium (species and primary hybrids), Lonicera, Ribes, Ruscus, Saxifraga and Tulipa which are available for research purposes. Please follow the links, left, for more.

Our database of accessions is currently only searchable internally, but if you would like to know what material we have of a particular group please email us at with details of your enquiry, directing it for the attention of Pete Atkinson, Plant Records Officer.

Research in plant diversity and systematics is conducted by Garden staff and colleagues from the wider University and beyond. Research summaries appear below.