National plant collections

Hampton Court Palace is the holder of three important National Plant Collections – Heliotropium, Lantana and Queen Mary II’s Exoticks which is designated a Heritage Collection.

The Plant Heritage National Plant Collection® scheme awards National Plant Collection status to organisations who undertake to document, develop and preserve a comprehensive collection of one group of plants in trust for the future.

National Plant Collection: Heliotropium ‘Cherry Pie Plant’

Heliotropium was the first of our plant collections to be designated a National Plant Collection® in 2000. There are 27 cultivars and 2 specie in the collection.

Heliotropium were first grown at Hampton Court in the 19th century for the new bedding plant displays in the Great Fountain Garden when the gardens were opened to the public. We still use our heliotropium collection in our bedding schemes today – look out for them in the summer.

Heliotropium ‘Cherry Pie Plant’

Heliotropium was the first of our plant collections to be designated a National Plant Collection® in 2000. There are 27 cultivars and two specie in the collection.

Heliotropium were first grown at Hampton Court in the 19th century for the new bedding plant displays in the Great Fountain Garden when the gardens were opened to the public. We still use our heliotropium collection in our bedding schemes today – look out for them in the summer.

Heliotropium is also known as the 'Cherry Pie Plant' as its small purple flowers smell of cherry and vanilla.

Lantana 'American shrub verbena'

Hampton Court became National Plant Collection holders of Lantana in 2008. There are 37 cultivar and one specie in the collection.

This plant first appeared in Exotick collections in the 17th century. It is a fascinating plant as many cultivars have flowers that change their colour as they mature. Yellows become white and oranges turn purple - it is a real wonder of nature.

Look out for Lantana in our bedding schemes around the palace gardens in the summer.

Lantana 'American shrub verbena'
Queen Mary II Exotics in a pot in front of a wall at Hampton Court Palace.

Queen Mary II Exoticks

Our famous collection of Queen Mary II's Exoticks is recognised as a Heritage Collection. Mary II (r1689-1694) had one of the largest private collections of plants in the world. She had plants imported from as far afield as the Mediterranean, Virginia, the Caribbean and Mauritius for display here at Hampton Court Palace.

Parts of Mary's collection survived until the First World War when lack of manpower and attention led to the last plants dying out. Since 1987, our Gardens & Estate team have researched the specimens in Mary's collection and collected them once more and brought them back to Hampton Court. This conservation collection has been re-created to display in the Orangery and Privy gardens. There are 215 specie in the collection. 

The gate of the Sunken Garden woven with plants and flowers at Kensington Palace under a partially cloudy sky
Highlights Things to see

Walk in the footsteps of royalty in the beautiful gardens of Kensington Palace, including the intriguing Sunken Garden.

Open daily

Kensington Palace

Aerial view of Great Fountain Garden at Hampton Court Palace showing Baroque East Front of palace
Highlights Things to see

Renowned across the world, Hampton Court Palace's beautiful gardens are an unmissable attraction.

Open daily

Hampton Court Palace

Christmas tree in front of Kensington Palace
Events Families

Experience iconic films from It's A Wonderful Life and Elf to Home Alone and Love Actually on the big screen at the Kensington Palace.

17-22 December 2018

Kensington Palace

17:00 and 20:30

Luxury peacock hanging decoration with exquisite embroidered design

Luxury peacock hanging decoration

Bring a sparkling touch to your Christmas tree with our glittering luxury hanging decoration in the shape of a peacock.

£12.99

Charcoal stag luxury linen mix cushion.  The hand drawn image of the stag is printed onto high quality Scottish linen

Charcoal stag luxury linen mix cushion

Add a touch of nature to your home with this delightful cushion featuring a stag. The eyes of the stag in particular give the whole image an overall softness.

£55.00

White background. Main image is of a bronze finished garden ornament of a miniature dachshund which is sold in the shops and online.

Dachshund bronze finish garden ornament

This playful bronze effect dachshund will charm any new owner. This fun decorative garden ornament features a miniature dachshund dog standing on its hind legs and is inspired by the history of royal dogs.

£19.99