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Plant Introductions

Expeditions and seed collecting trips from around the world.
Expeditions and seed collecting trips from around the world.

The Palm Centre comprises a team of dedicated plant enthusiasts, each with unique specialisations. Their shared passion has led some of them on journeys around the globe, in pursuit of exceedingly rare plants that were once considered extinct. These expeditions into distant, untamed lands are a source of pride as well as a testament to our staff’s unwavering commitment to their individual passions. By sharing these remarkable stories, we aim to demonstrate our boundless enthusiasm for the plants we offer.

Martin Gibbons, founder of the Palm Centre

Many of these exotic plants, resilient enough for our climate, have achieved remarkable success in cultivation. Seeds collected during our explorations are now distributed to many other European growers, ensuring a sustainable supply. Previously unfamiliar specimens such as Trachycarpus princeps and Agave montana, now prevalent in European nurseries, were virtually unknown until we brought them back and nurtured them into thriving plants. Some, like the Medemia argun palm, were believed extinct until Martin Gibbons (founder of the Palm Centre) stumbled upon a colony in the Nubian desert.

Trachycarpus princeps in habitat

Our belief in cultivation as a form of conservation has driven us to protect plants on the brink of extinction. This approach allows enthusiasts like us to revel in the magic of these specimens while alleviating pressure on endangered native populations.



Scaling cliffs in search of Trachycarpus princeps

Through tales of demanding expeditions and serendipitous discoveries, we hope to shed light on the extraordinary journey of each plant. These stories illuminate the origins of our lifelong passion and emphasise the value of cultivating and nurturing these treasures in your own garden.

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