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Garden of medicinal plants

The Royal College of Physicians' garden contains over 1,100 plants, all with links to medicine. The myriad stories they tell come from diverse cultures, different countries and from every age in recorded history.

The garden has been beautifully designed and is a wonderfully calm space in the centre of London. The real joy of the garden is in its unique and bespoke collections of plants that offer living examples of the history of medicine from the era of the pyramids of Egypt to today’s life-saving prescription drugs.

[The plants] offer an illuminating window into the history, beliefs and culture of medicine through the ages.

There are also plants whose names commemorate physicians such as Rudbeck, Dahl, Fuchs, Kniphof and Zinn and a descendant of the tree under which Hippocrates taught medical students 2,400 years ago. Many of the plants have no current medical use but they offer an illuminating window into the history, beliefs and culture of medicine through the ages.

Available to buy from the RCP shop, A garden of medicinal plants describes 50 plants from the medicinal garden that are sources of ancient and modern medicines.

For a full list of publications produced by the garden team please click here.

Medicinal Garden lecture series 2022

For further enquiries email garden@rcplondon.ac.uk heading your email ‘Garden Lectures’. 

Garden Open Days 2022

The garden will be open for the National Garden Scheme charity on 12 July 2022. Guided tours will be offered throughout the day.

Visiting

Visits to the garden are welcome in 2021 subject to the government guidelines

Visitors who wish to see the Medicinal Garden on their own are welcome to visit 9am–5pm weekdays as individuals or in small groups of up to four people. Please note that the garden is occasionally booked for private functions and will not be open to the public on these occasions.

Garden location, accessibility and journey planning information (including transport accessibility) is available on our visiting page.

If you would rather discuss visiting arrangements with staff at the RCP please contact us via email at reception@rcplondon.ac.uk, or by telephone on +44 (0)20 3075 1200 or +44 (0)20 3075 1363.

Follow us on Instagram: @rcp_garden.

Guided tours (booking essential)

Open tours of the Medicinal Garden are given by senior physicians from the RCP on the first Wednesday of the month at 2pm (April–October). To book, please call: +44(0)20 3075 1649 (ask for reception).

For organised groups, tours can also be arranged on Tuesdays or Wednesdays between the hours of 11am and 3.30pm.

To enquire about bookings, please email garden@rcp.ac.uk with the subject ‘Garden tour’.

No charge is made for any of these tours; however, donations towards the garden’s upkeep are gratefully received.