Chelsea Physic Garden

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United Kingdom - London

Institution Code: CHEL

BGCI Member: Yes

Statue of Sir Hans Sloane, benefactor of Chelsea Physic Garden.
Statue of Sir Hans Sloane, benefactor of Chelsea Physic Garden.

About the Chelsea Physic Garden

The Chelsea Physic Garden was founded by the Society of Apothecaries in 1673 in order to promote the study of botany in relation to medicine, then known as the "physic" or healing arts. As the second oldest botanic garden in England it still fulfills the traditional functions of scientific research and plant conservation and undertakes to educate and inform as well as to provide the amenity of a walled "secret" garden in the heart of London.

Its aims are:
• to demonstrate through its plantings and publications the range of species named or introduced to cultivation by a succession of distinguished curators;

• to pursue horticultural excellence, especially in the cultivation of rare and tender plants;

• to demonstrate to all who visit the many uses of plants and particularly the heritage of the plant world as our common medicine chest

Main Address:
Chelsea Physic Garden
66 Royal Hospital Road
SW3 4HS United Kingdom

Telephone: 44 (0)20 7352 5646
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Mrs Sue Medway
    Curator's Name: Nell Jones
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Kevin Creed
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 5
    Educational Staff Number: 2
    Research Staff Number:
    Administration Staff Number: 10

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: Yes
  • Date founded: 1673
  • Physical Data
  • Total Area: 2 Hectares
    Latitude: 51.48451
    Longitude: -0.162304
    Annual Rainfall: 566 mm
    Altitude: 5.00 Metres
    Total area of glasshouses: 405 Metres
  • Additional Locations
  • Satellite Garden Names: Elkstone Road Garden Oasis
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: Chelsea Physic Garden
  • Local Address: 66 Royal Hospital Road
  • Locality: City: London
  • Locality: State:

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Herbarium: Number of Specimens: 600
    Arboretum: No
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 55000
    Number of Volunteers: 75

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 6256
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 4171
  • Special Collections:Specialist collections:
    Pelargonium Collection
    Macaronesian flora
    Edible & Useful collection
    Garden of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Plants
    World Woodland Garden
    Historical Plants
  • ABS Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: No
    Medicinal Plant Programme: Yes
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: No
    Reintroduction Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: No
    Conservation - Biology: No
    Conservation - Genetics: Yes
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: No
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: Yes
    Exploration: No
    Floristics: No
    Horticulture: Yes
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: No
    Molecular Genetics: No
    Pollination Biology: No
    Restoration Ecology: No
    Seed/Spore Biology: No
    Systematics and Taxonomy: Yes
    Sustainability: Yes
    Pharmacology: Yes
    Agriculture: No
    Land Restoration: No
    Urban Environments: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes