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Data from this search facility will not reflect the 2013 AGM list and hardiness ratings until 11 April 2013. For an up-to-date list of AGM plants, please go to and click on the links top right.

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Search for plant names

TIP try entering the common name if you are unsure of the botanical name. To obtain a list of oaks, search for oak; having found the botanical name Quercus, enter quercus as a new search

About the data

Botanical names: nomenclature and taxonomy

For each of the datasets provided online, we have sought to ensure the highest standard of botanical accuracy in naming, and consistency of treatment. The RHS Plant Finder forms the core of our work on nomenclature, and we are assisted by an advisory panel of experts.

Find out more about botanical names

Common names

Common ("vernacular") names cited in the database are largely based upon the work of Charles Brooker, compiled in the 1970s and presented to the Society. They are primarily in English, and most comprehensively cover usage in the United Kingdom. This has been an invaluable reference over the years for the Society's Botanists, and is supplemented with names found in standard references, or encountered in our Advisory work.

Find out more about common names

The RHS Plant Finder

Updated annually in book form (in spring), the RHS Plant Finder has become a standard reference to correct naming of cultivated plants. This publication is a subset of the RHS Horticultural Database; linking the information in this way enables us to synchronise the wider research on names undertaken at Wisley with the book. The Online version of the RHS Plant Finder will present a slightly more up-to-date perspective on naming than the book as the year progresses.

Search the RHS Plant Finder

The Award of Garden Merit

The Award relates to the full range of plants cultivated in the United Kingdom, and is currently the richest source of information on vegetables in the RHS Horticultural Database. The Award Plants Database can be searched separately by category for those wishing to identify a range of superior plants for their garden.

Search for AGM Plants

Living accessions of plants in RHS gardens

The RHS Horticultural Database has been used to catalogue the collections at Wisley since 1993, and provides a reasonably comprehensive list of plants there. Cataloguing at Rosemoor has started much more recently, and only parts of the collection have been covered. The collections at Hyde Hall and Harlow Carr will gradually be incorporated from 2002.

Acknowledgements: we are grateful to the staff of the Plant Records Offices at Wisley and Rosemoor, who have been responsible for collating and entering this information since 1993, when the first plant records were transferred from card index to computer at Wisley.

Standard Specimens in the RHS Herbarium

Starting in earnest in 1999, the collection of Standard Specimens has been entirely catalogued in the RHS Horticultural Database.

Find out more about Standard Specimens

International registers of cultivar names

The nine International Registers maintained by the Society are not held in the RHS Horticultural Database, though a significant amount of information from those Registers is reflected in the Database. Refer to the individual Register pages on the RHS website for further information. Daffodils and orchids may be searched with separate databases on this website.

Find out more about plant registration

About the RHS Horticultural Database

Since 1993, the RHS has been developing the RHS Horticultural Database. The objective is to bring together, into a single cohesive structure, as much horticultural information as possible, based around a comprehensive index of garden plant names.

Using the proprietary botanical gardens database management software, BG-BASE™, this is already being used for garden plant records for the RHS gardens, nursery information, RHS National Collections, RHS trials, Award of Garden Merit plants, literature references and much more besides. In 1998, the Pathology section started recording the incidence of certain plant diseases within RHS Garden Wisley, using the Horticultural Database to hold the data. Since 1997, The RHS Plant Finder has been generated directly from the RHS Horticultural Database.


The botanical collections management software, in use worldwide, on which the RHS Horticultural Database is maintained.

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How to cite us

If you find the database useful for your work, please mention it when citing sources of information. It may be cited as…

‘The Royal Horticultural Society Horticultural Database’, available at