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Wilford, Richard

Job title: 

Collections Manager

Conservation, Living Collections and Estates
Horticulture, Kew Gardens, Hardy Display
Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Biology, Southampton Univ., 1986
  • Editorial Committee, Curtis's Botanical Magazine
  • Editorial Committee, Kew magazine
  • Daffodil and Tulip Committee, Royal Horticultural Society

Management of the Alpine and Herbaceous Units, including research collections of Salvia and bulbous plants such as Galanthus, Iris and Tulipa.

Managing the staff and plant collections in the Alpine and Herbaceous Units of the Hardy Display Section of the Horticulture Department at Kew. The collections in the Herbaceous Unit include the Systematic Order Beds, Rock Garden, Grass Garden and the Salvia border. The Order Beds (Plant Family Beds) have been replanted to reflect the latest classification system, APG III and interpretation is being developed to explain plant classification to visitors to Kew. The Alpine Unit includes the Woodland Garden, with its extensive collections of shade tolerant bulbs and perennials, including Erythronium, the subject of a proposed monograph to be published by Kew. The Davies Alpine House opened in March 2006 and displays a range of alpines, bulbs and smaller Mediterranean species, with changing interpretation to reflect the plants on display. These plants are cultivated in the Alpine Nursery, which holds a large collection of bulbous plants, including the National Plant Collection of ‘Juno’ Iris, which is also being studied for a proposed Kew monograph. Other important collections include Roscoea, Allium, Fritillaria and a second National Plant Collection, species tulips. Collections support research and conservation projects, such as the Conservation of Threatened Chilean Flora through Propagation, the study of the propagation of Georgian ornamental plants and the CITES project to study the cultivation and sustainable harvesting of Galanthus woronowii in Georgia.

Selected publications: 

Wilford, R. (2010). Alpines from Mountain to Garden, Kew Publishing

Wilford, R. (2010). Tropaeolum tricolor. Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 27 (3): 262—267.

Wilford, R. (2008). Species Tulips. Gardens Illustrated 136: 46—55.

Wilford, R. (2007). Cultivation. In: Cowley, J. The Genus Roscoea. Kew Publishing.

Wilford, R. (2006). Tulips, species and hybrids for the gardener, Timber Press, Portland, Oregon.