MCBG Heather Garden recognized as a National Collection

The MCBG Hardy Heath and Heather Collection has been accepted into the North American Plant Collections Consortium!

After three years of hard work and preparation, the Hardy Heath and Heather Collection at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens (MCBG) has been awarded full status as part of the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC).

NAPCC is a network of botanical gardens and arboreta working to coordinate a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm preservation, and to promote high standards of plant collections management. NAPCC Collections may serve as reference collections for plant identification and cultivar registration. Collection holders make germplasm available for taxonomic studies, evaluation, breeding, and other research. Participating institutions compare holdings with others to identify duplications and gaps. This makes efficient use of available resources, strengthening collections through combined collaborative activities.

The MCBG Hardy Heath and Heather collection consists of 143 live taxa that include species, naturally occurring hybrids, and cultivars of Calluna, Daboecia, and Erica. The collection holds significant historical value for local and national heather societies, and is a genetic resource for nurserymen. It also serves as a taxonomic reference resource for plant identification, cultivar registration, cultivation practices, propagation techniques, and hardiness trials of these taxa. In addition, trials of rare South African Erica species are currently underway to determine which species are hardy on our coast and how we can play a role in their conservation.

MCBG now stands among a prestigious group of gardens and arboreta such as Arnold Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden, that have committed themselves to the conservation and care of specific plant collections curated at the highest professional level. Our participation in the NAPCC also means that we are willing to make our collection available for increased distribution and research, and we will promote public awareness of conservation issues.

MCBG wishes to thank Heather Gardener Mario Abreu, Plant Recorder Kristina Van Wert, and the many volunteers for the considerable amount of time and effort they put in to achieve this honor. Their commitment to the NAPCC's goals is much appreciated and will have long lasting benefits for the preservation of living collections.

Click here for more on our Hardy Heath and Heather Collection.