The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden
The RCP Medicinal Garden

Welcome to the plant database

The RCP garden of medicinal plants is unique in that almost every one of the over 1000 species of plant here has a link to medicine. It may be a herb with a long history of use in folk tradition; it may have provided the model for a pharmaceutical drug; it may be a fibre plant used to make bandages or its botanical name may commemorate a Physician and honour a contribution to science. The myriad stories they tell come from diverse cultures, different countries and from every age in recorded history.

The garden, which was redesigned in 2005, surrounds the Grade 1 listed building designed by Denys Lasdun and it reflects both the RCP's contemporary role and its more than 500 year history. The striking building is both a meeting place for Fellows and Members and an important conference centre, while the garden provides a peaceful and attractive outside space for the use of employees and other visitors. It is also an educational resource in its own right with numerous horticultural and other special interest groups being welcomed throughout the year by the Garden Fellows Dr Sue Burge, Dr Timothy Cutler, Prof Anthony Dayan, Dr Arjun Devanesan, Prof Graham Foster. Dr Henry Oakeley, Prof John Newton, Dr Noel Snell and Prof Michael de Swiet.

This database is a list of plants currently or previously grown in the garden. For each of these plants it holds images and basic information such as name, geographical distribution and reason for growing here. Some include further details on their uses.

The garden of medicinal plants and the database are intended to offer an overview of the history of medicinal plants and their uses. Many of the plants grown and described here are highly toxic and may cause severe allergic reactions or serious poisoning. The Royal College of Physicians strongly advise against self- diagnosis or treatment and recommends that a medical professional is always consulted.

Garden podcasts/videos

With over a thousand specimens in The Garden of Medicinal Plants’ collection, there is a great deal more information on offer on our database. Please click on the following link to hear the Garden Fellows and gardeners talking about the plants in a podcast: Garden podcasts
Please click on the following link to see videos about some of our plants: Garden videos

Garden tours

Garden tours by the Garden fellows are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 2pm from March to October. Please call 0203 075 1200 to book. Group tours can also be arranged on Monday to Friday by sending an email with details of the group, preferred date and time to Garden@rcplondon.ac.uk heading your email ‘Garden tour’. Tours are usually 11-12.30 (tea/coffee/biscuits at 10.30), and 2-3.30 (tea/coffee/biscuits at 3.30) but other times can be arranged.

Medicinal Garden lecture series 2020

Booking fee £10 per day. Enquiries to Garden@rcplondon.ac.uk heading your email ‘Garden Lectures’

  • Wednesday June 24th Lecture programme
    • 14:00-15:00 Prof. Tilli Tansey: 'Ergot: from a dreaded poison to a treasure house of drugs'
    • 15:00-16:00 Tea and garden tours
    • 16:00-17:00 P Prof. Pratik Chakrabarti: 'Materia Medica and the Empire: Plants, Medicines and Global history'
  • Monday July 13th Lectures and garden tours
    • 14:00-15:00 Sir Richard Thompson: 'Horticultural therapy in hospitals, asylums, and sanatoria'
    • 15:00-16:00 Tea and garden tours
    • 16:00-17:00 Prof. Ian Graham: 'The medicinal plant genome project'
  • Monday September 7th Lectures and garden tours
    • 14:00-17:00 details to follow
For details and updates see: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/events/event_type/social

Special Events

The Garden will be open for charity on the following dates in 2020:

  • Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 10am-5pm Open Gardens squares Weekend
  • Sunday 28th June 2-5pm National Gardens Scheme
There will be free guided tours during these events but an entrance fee will be charged

All images © Dr H.F.Oakeley. For reproduction please send an email to Garden@rcplondon.ac.uk

For enquiries about the garden and/or database, please send an email to Garden@rcplondon.ac.uk

How to cite us, The Royal College of Physicians’ Garden of Medicinal Plants at http://garden.rcplondon.ac.uk/