Index Seminum

Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673 by The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. By 1682, it was well established and the Director, John Watts, invited Dr. Paul Hermann of the Leiden University Botanic Garden to visit the Garden. The idea of a plant and seed exchange between the two Botanic Gardens was formulated and John Watts visited Leiden early in 1683, taking plants and seeds with him.

Such exchanges of plant material have continued until the present day, enabling Botanic Gardens all over the world to introduce new plants to their countries and to maintain interesting and diverse collections within their grounds.

The Chelsea Physic Garden seed list as we know it now was first produced in 1901 when the City Parochial Foundation took over the management of the Garden. In 1983 the Garden was placed in the care of a group of trustees under the Chairmanship of Dr. David Jamison, and the Society of Apothecaries continues to sponsor the Garden’s annual seed list.

The seed exchange now operates between the Garden and approximately 368 other Botanic Gardens and universities in 37 different countries.

Seeds collected from open-pollinated plants grown in Chelsea Physic Garden. Information on the incorrect determination of seeds supplied will be appreciated. Seed collection and distribution by the Garden staff and volunteers.

Seed exchange available to Botanic Gardens and other institutions as part of the Exchange Programme.

Contact Seed Room