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 Henry Oakeley, Dr Noel Snell, Prof Michael de Swiet, Prof John Newton, Prof Anthony Dayan and Prof Graham Foster.
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.
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 podcastsPlease click on the following link to see videos about some of our plants: Garden videos
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.
Garden Lectures 2019 2-5pm – for more details email Garden@rcplondon.ac.uk heading your email ‘Garden lectures’
- June 10
- Pharmacopoeias since Galen. Their evolution into the College’s pharmacopoeia of 1618 – Dr Henry Oakeley
- Colonial Medicinal Plants and Pharmacopoeias of the British Empire 1837-1932 - Prof Stuart Anderson
- Botanical origins of pharmaceutical medicine - Prof Alan Boyd
- July 15
- Box, Beer and Barley, Archaeobotanical evidence from Roman Britain - Dr Lisa Lodwick
- Medicinal aspects of tea, coffee and chocolate - Dr Noel Snell
- September 9th
- The Little Garden and the Great herbal; medicinal plants in the medieval garden - Dr Richard Bisgrove
- Plant poisons for arrows and harpoons - Dr Ann Ferguson
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/