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Plants & fungi

A plant family named for Kew

Kewa bowkeriana
Thu, 2014-10-09 15:24

Molluginaceae are a family of herbs and small shrubs of arid lands. However, DNA studies have shown that not all species attributed to this family are the closest relatives of each other. Several genera have already been removed from Molluginaceae and placed in other families.

Cameroon Red Data

The team working on the Red List assessments
Fri, 2014-10-03 17:10

In the first week of September, 87 global species conservation assessments from Tropical Africa’s first Red Data Book for Plants: J.M. Onana and M. Cheek, Red Data Book of the Flowering Plants of Cameroon, Kew Publishing (2011) were reviewed, updated and edited on the IUCN online Species Information Service (SIS). These are expected to be released on the IUCN Redlist website in November 2014 and will be the largest block of new Tropical African assessments appearing there this year.

Kew-Cameroon science link strengthened

Prof. Kathy Willis signing the Memorandum of Collaboration witnessed by Dr Jean-Michel Onana
Fri, 2014-10-03 15:22

On 5 September 2014, the Director of Science, Professor Kathy Willis, signed a five-year extension of the Memorandum of Collaboration agreed with Cameroon. It was witnessed by the Head of Biodiversity Programmes of the Ministry of Science and Scientific Innovation (MINRESI) and Head of the Institute of Agronomic Research & Development-National Herbarium of Cameroon (IRAD-HNC), Dr Jean-Michel Onana.

Book of the month - Remarkable Plants That Shape Our World

Fri, 2014-10-03 13:24

Plants are truly remarkable: even with all our modern technological prowess they still feed, clothe and shelter us, help transport us and can intoxicate and cure us. Authors Helen and William Bynum are expert guides to the rich histories, significance and uses of over 80 key plants in 69 entries, revealing our relationship with them, both utilitarian and aesthetic, and their multiple benefits and cultural associations.

Three new palm genera

Manjekia maturbongsii
Fri, 2014-09-26 16:05

Recent botanical exploration in eastern Malesia has resulted in the discovery of three spectacular palm taxa that have proved difficult to assign to genus. New evidence from molecular phylogenetic research has resulted in these taxa being recognised as three monotypic genera new to science in a recent paper published in Kew Bulletin.

Cyclamen carpet in bloom at Wakehurst Place

Cyclamen carpet
Mon, 2014-09-08 17:56

Thought to be one of the largest populations of flowering cyclamen in the country this stunning display is produced by a Mediterranean variety: Cyclamen hederifolium.

Wakehurst yew hedges are used as an ingredient in chemotherapy drugs

Chinese plum yew
Fri, 2014-08-29 18:29

The sides of the Pleasaunce hedges at Wakehurst, Kew’s country garden in Ardingly, have proved invaluable to Limehurst who have been collecting yew hedge clippings around the UK since 1992. The firm, based at Hambrook near Chichester, extract taxol from the clippings - a constituent of a chemotherapy drug given to treat ovarian and breast cancers.