Discover Kew's historic plant artefact collection, begun in 1847 by Sir William Hooker. This fascinating global collection includes around 85,000 artefacts including herbal medicines, food and fibres. The collection illustrates the extent of human use of plants around the world, and the huge variety of objects range from paper to weapons and clothing to medicines.
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Economic Botany blog
01 Nov 2013
The new exhibition at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art - 'Botanicals, Environmental Expressions in Art from the Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton Collection' - includes some intriguing models of apples and pears sent to Victorian England from Australia.
01 Aug 2013
As part of my internship at Kew, I have been repacking some models of farming tools from Japan. As so often in Kew’s Economic Botany Collection, research on the items has revealed an interesting story, in this case of Japanese relations with Korea and Britain.
Artefact of the month
This hat was collected for Kew by Richard Spruce in the 1890s. These practical hats are both flexible and durable. It was made in the Pueblo de Monagas region of the Amazonas from the leaves of either the bera or arrow grass. The rough cuticle is scraped off the leaves which are then cut into strips and woven.
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