Spiky rosettes of long sword-shaped leaves give this plant an architectural feel. The flowering stalks are very impressive being several feet tall and covered in creamy white bell-shaped flowers. Can be found in the herbaceous borders near Exbury House.

Xanthocyparis nootkotensis

Also known as the weeping Nootka cypress. A tall, slim conifer with long weeping fronds, a young example of which can be found in Yard Wood.

Witcher's Wood

Named after a family of charcoal-burners who used to live there, this wood contains many fine species of ornamental trees. This is one of the least formal areas of the gardens featuring huge, mature rhododendrons.


Ulmus are more commonly known as Elm trees. They have, in recent history, suffered severe decline due to Dutch elm disease, but there are now new resistant varieties available. Several of these are dotted around the gardens including Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ planted to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee.

Tree Fern

Tree-like ferns that grow with a trunk elevating the fronds above ground level. These can be viewed in several areas of the gardens, particularly in the Sundial Garden and close to Mrs Lionel’s seat.

Sundial Garden

Surrounded by a yew hedge, this is one of few formal areas of the gardens. The sundial, topped with a griffin, was originally at Inchmery, a former residence of the de Rothschild family. At one end there is a large pergola made of Portland stone covered by an enormous Wisteria floribunda. 


A large genus of around 1024 species of woody plants in the heath family (Ericaceae). Most species are native to eastern Asia and the Himalayan region. Thousands of rhododendrons have been planted over the years and well over 1,000 hybrids have been raised by three generations of the de Rothschild family. 


Exbury is committed to planting native trees, above all oaks. These are vital in ensuring that the tree canopy remains a haven for different species of wildlife. From animal species that live along the margins of the river, to those dwelling in the meadows, the oaks scattered throughout the woodlands provide an essential part of their habitat.  


There are many prunus, or cherry, trees to be found around the gardens, not least the orchard of ornamental flowering cherries kindly donated by the Japanese Sakura Cherry Project to celebrate the 2020 Olympics. As this area matures, it will become a delightful place to picnic under the spring blossom. The three varieties to be found in the orchard are ‘Beni-Yutaka’, ‘Tai-Haku’ and × yedoensis.

Opium Poppy

This species of flowering plant has become a source of significant pain-killing drugs, still used in modern medicine. It is also a valuable ornamental plant which can be seen during the summer in our Herbaceous Garden.  

Nerine Sarniensis

Exbury’s collection of nerines (‘jewel lilies’ or ‘Guernsey lilies’) is unrivalled. It consists of 1,000 cultivars, many of which can be seen displayed at Exbury each Autumn. This beautiful plant grows prolifically on Table Mountain in South Africa where it was first recorded in 1635. In bright light the petals appear to sparkle silver or gold.

Magpie Inkcap

Autumn is peak season for fungi, which come in a fascinating array of different shapes and forms like this magpie inkcap. They are the fruiting bodies of the fungal network under the soil and release spores as a means of reproduction. This network acts to nourish plant communities and ensure their health. Many fungi provide food for slugs, squirrels, flies, deer, and many other creatures so finding one in good condition can be tricky.


Lachenalias come from the winter rainfall areas of South Africa and are relatives of the hyacinth. There are about 120 species and several hybrids. The first to flower, in late October, is the red L. rubida, soon followed by the blue L. viridiflora and the red L. bulbifera, which flower around Christmas. Some are delightfully scented.  You can see a selection of lachenalias exhibited at Exbury in early spring.

Kniphobia in the Herbaceous Border

Found in the herbaceous borders this plant is native to Africa. You may know it better by its common name, red hot poker.

Japanese Bridge

Situated to the east of Top Pond and at the bottom of the stream that flows from Mrs Lionel’s Seat. A fabulous spot to take photographs.

Iris Garden

Recently revamped, this garden boasts a beautiful array of irises and arum lilies around the edge of a small pond in a beautifully situated, shaded valley. At its best in June.

Hydrangea Walk

Acid soil-loving plants that flower in late summer. See them along Hydrangea Walk which is planted with a range of Teller hybrids resplendent in deep blues and pinks. A collection of Hydrangea paniculata can be found along Azalea Drive on the way to Jubilee Hill.

Giant Oak Grass

A robust tufted evergreen grass which grows up to 2m in height. Arching linear green leaves and large panicles of oat-like purplish flowers which ripen to gold. See them in the Herbaceous Garden

Fatsia Polycarpa

This attractive evergreen plant with large leathery palmate leaves originates from Taiwan where it thrives in shady valleys, Exbury’s example is to be found at the south end of Top Pond.

Exbury House

A Grade II listed building built in the 18th century and redesigned and refaced in 1927 by Lionel de Rothschild who purchased the house and gardens in 1919.

Daffodil Meadow

Visit in spring to see hundreds of thousands of bulbs spring into life in Daffodil Meadow and the River of Gold.


These stone waterfalls flow from Top Pond, through the Azalea Bowl, and out to the river.

Beaulieu River

The Old River Walk follows the edge of the Beaulieu River to the Viewpoint, the furthest point in the Winter Garden. The recently completed New River Walk runs from the very bottom of Daffodil Meadow to the inlet of the creek below Bottom Pond.

Azalea Bowl

Built in 1964, this remains one of the most popular features of the gardens. In April and May, masses of flowers, in bright, dramatic colours – reds, shocking pinks, purples, and whites – are reflected in Middle Pond.