Skip to main content
You are here

Plants & fungi

Lichens benefit from sunscreen

Xanthoria elegans
Wed, 2015-09-02 10:28

Explosion in numbers of lichen species

A new study has revealed that about 100 million years ago there was an explosion in the number of species within the lichen family Teloschistaceae. Such events are believed by evolutionary biologists to be crucial for the formation of the diversity of life on earth. But unusually for such an ancient event, the researchers have been able to pin down the factors that caused it.

Largest orchid in the world flowers at Kew

Grammatophyllum speciosum
Fri, 2015-08-28 15:17

Currently standing 1.5 metres high, the flower spike is growing around 1.5cm a day, with the spike expected to hit an astonishing three metres. Its impressive blooms are expected to last five to six weeks. 

The queen of orchids is grown in Kew’s behind-the-scenes Tropical Nursery. Visitors will be able to go behind the scenes at the Tropical Nursery to view this giant orchid.

New research shows daisies first appeared when dinosaurs walked the Earth

Daisy meadow
Fri, 2015-08-07 18:39

The study of fossil pollen grains by a group of researchers, including Kew scientists, revealed the daisy family, Asteraceae, to be 20 million years older than previously assumed.