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Plants & fungi

Updating classifications to reflect monophyly

Pennisetum advena
Thu, 2013-03-07 00:00

Cenchrus advena (Wipff & Veldkamp) Morrone, one of the 1,179 grass species that have changed their name in the move towards a phylogenetic classification. The species was called Pennisetum advena Wipff & Veldkamp in traditional systems of grass classification.

Herbal medicine through an evolutionary lens

Pseudowintera colorata
Tue, 2013-03-05 14:34

There is often scepticism surrounding traditional herbal treatments, partly due to scarcity in large-scale evidence of efficacy of traditional medicine. A team of researchers from Kew, the University of Reading, Imperial College and RBG Edinburgh, in collaboration with colleagues from Nepal and New Zealand, have conducted a phylogenetic study that provides support for herbal remedies.

Chemical clues to rosy relationships

Rosa spinosissima
Thu, 2013-02-14 00:00

Researchers in the Sustainable Uses Group at Kew have discovered a particular type of flavonoid glycoside in leaves of the burnet rose (Rosa spinosissima; syn. R. pimpinellifolia) that had not been described previously in the scientific literature from any other plant. The novel compounds were found during a wider study looking at potentially new uses of plants. In particular, hips of the burnet rose, which is native to the UK, are harvested and used in cosmetics.

Hardy Cypripedium - book of the month

Hardy Cypripedium - book cover
Tue, 2013-01-22 00:00

Introducing our next 'book of the month'.

Our  latest 'book of the month' feature is the first of two specials shining the spotlight on orchids.