The Chelsea Physic Garden was founded in 1673 by the 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 Physic 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 has since kindly agreed to finance the seed list.
The seed exchange now operates between the Chelsea Physic Garden and approximately 368 other Botanic Gardens and universities in 37 different countries.
Seed exchange available ONLY to Gardens and other institutions as part of the Exchange Programme.
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