Latest Kew Stories

2011-01-31 11:41:27

Scientists have discovered why orchids are one of the most successful groups of flowering plants - it is all down to their relationships with the bees that pollinate them and the fungi that nourish them. The study, published tomorrow in the American Naturalist, is the culmination of a ten-year research project in South Africa involving researchers from Imperial College London, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and other international institutions. The orchid family is one of the largest groups...

2010-09-21 07:40:00

Experts in Britain and the United States are working to create an accurate record of the world's known plant species, and have so far reduced the global inventory by some 600,000 species. Many of the previously recorded species were duplicates, said the researchers, who expect the final number of species appearing on the official "ËœPlant List' to be closer to 400,000. The final list, due later this year, will not include ferns or algae, which account for about 10,000 and 30,000...

2010-05-19 10:57:11

A scientist based at the U.K.'s Royal Botanic Gardens has prevented the world's smallest waterlily from becoming extinct. Carlos Magdalena now has plans to repopulate the plant in its native home, the hot springs in Rwanda. The world's biggest species of waterlily can have pads that grow up to 10 ft.  However, the thermal lily is just about a third of an inch wide. The plant with tiny satin white flowers almost went extinct in the wild two years ago because of over-exploitation of its...

2009-12-22 14:15:00

Canopy giants and miniature fungi among 250 new species discovered in Kew's 250th anniversary year Giant rainforest trees, rare and beautiful orchids, spectacular palms, minute fungi, wild coffees and an ancient aquatic plant are among more than 250 new plant and fungi species discovered and described by botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in this, the botanical organization's 250th anniversary year. The new species come from a wide-range of fascinating locations including Brazil,...

2009-10-15 12:35:00

The Kew's Millennium Seed Bank has successfully collected 10 percent of the world's plants with 1.7 billion seeds being stored to date. The goal was met with the addition of seeds from a wild banana, the plant conservatory's 24,200th wild plant species. The Kew bank is the largest plant conservation project in the world. It is intended to save plants faced with the threat of extinction. The seed collective combines the efforts of more than 120 groups in 54 countries. The 10 percent goal was...

2009-07-29 21:55:30

A centuries-old cycad specimen, a palm-like tree that is the world's oldest living potted plant, has been re-potted, a worker at Kew Gardens in London says. The Daily Mail reported Tuesday's delicate operation required a crane, three months of careful planning and nine people guiding the trunk to place the plant in its new mahogany container. The pot is about 4 feet tall and holds a ton of soil to help support the leaning plant. Wes Shaw, a gardens keeper at the gardens' Palm House, said...

Word of the Day
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.