Economic Botany Collection

  • Economic Botany Collection in the Banks building at RBG Kew
  • When the collection reached Kew much of it was re-housed in airtight jars for better preservation. It was accessioned into the larger Economic Botany Collection, with the financial support of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Here at Kew the Royal Pharmaceutical Society collection is used in a variety of ways. Some of the items are on public display in the Plants+People Exhibition in Museum No. 1. The majority of the collection is held in the Economic Botany Collection, in the Sir Joseph Banks Building, where it is accessible to researchers. In 1988 Christine Stockwell, who was involved with the integration of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society donation into Kew's collections, published Nature's Pharmacy, A History of Plants and Healing. This book is based on the holdings of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society collection at Kew and is a good introduction to its history. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society collection is also used in current scientific research at Kew and elsewhere, for example as reference material for chemical analysis to assist with authentication and to evaluate the quality of some plant products, including those used for medicinal purposes.