NARGS Rocks: Geophytes Buy a Ticket


Geophytes Buy
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Conference Time
Colchicum agripinum
Tom Freeth
John Graham
Peter Zale
Arum dioscoridis

The Bulbous Collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Species Peonies

Geophytes from a plant collector's garden

All lectures will be recorded.
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Tom Freeth

John Graham

Peter Zale


This talk includes images and discussion of the geophytes grown in the Living Collections at Kew, their cultivation and display. Kew has long held a very diverse collection of geophytes, with several publications written wholly or in part through studying the Living Collections of bulbous plants.

Tom is a professional horticulturist and botanist with a life-long love of wild plants and high places. Currently he is Head of Plant Records at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Previously, he looked after the Rock Garden and Alpine Living Collections for 5 years.

The talk starts with a brief introduction to the Genus Paeonia; including world distribution, classification, and importance to mankind. This will be followed by information on growing and propagation of herbaceous species with reference to plants growing in the wild. Throughout the presentation the thorny problem of naming and identification of peonies will be discussed.

An Agricultural Botany graduate from Reading University, John ran a nursery specializing in herbaceous plants. The stock lists included Herbaceous Species Peonies.

After moving to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania in 2015, I started transforming my sloping, half-acre lot into diverse gardens that support botanically rich collections of interesting plants. Geophytes have been a central theme among these collections and figure prominently across all my garden spaces. Included is a small greenhouse with a plunge bed to support collections of dryland geophytes and seed propagation, a recently finished crevice garden, an extensive woodland garden, diverse plantings of woody species, and more. I will discuss the creation of my garden, the plant collections focus on geophytes, and future garden plans.

Trillium cuneatum balck
Crocus boryi
cold greenhouse
Iris nicolai
Galanthus ‘Primrose Warburg’