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Have you caught Olympic Fever?

Christina Harrison
7 August 2012
Blog team: 
If you've got a bad case of Olympic Fever why not head to Kew to continue to enjoy the spirit of the Games with the wonderful representations of the Olympic Rings and Paralympic logo in flower form? You can also see some of the tallest, oldest, fastest, weirdest and most beautiful plants on the planet right here.

Kew's enormous Olympic Rings - originally planted to mark 100 days to go until the beginning of the Games - have recently been replanted and are looking fabulous right now as we head into the second week of the competition. Visitors to Kew, and also those arriving overhead by plane to Heathrow, are thoroughly enjoying this colourful spectacle.

The Olympic Rings on the lawn outside the Orangery


One of the roundabouts near the Palm House has also caught the Olympic spirit with flowers boldly representing the Paralympic logo in a sea of white gravel.


Meet the record breakers

There's some jaw-dropping record breakers of the plant world to see too - you can visit the coastal redwoods in the Redwood Grove - this species is the tallest living thing on Earth! You can see fast-as-a-lightning-bolt Venus fly traps in the carnivorous plants area in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. There's a titan arum here too - one of the largest flowering structures in the world - growing to around 3 metres high.


The titan arum's flowering structure can reach epic proportions


The Princess of Wales Conservatory is a fabulous place to witness the variety of plant life - in the wonderful orchid display cases you can see some of the most beautiful and weirdest-looking flowers you will ever come across.

As well as enjoying the waterlilies here you can also head to the Waterlily House to see some of the largest leaves in the world (those of the giant waterlily) in the central pool, while in the display around the edges of the glasshouse there are some of the hottest chillies known to man.

In the Palm House you can see possibly the oldest pot plant in the world -  the Eastern Cape giant cycad brought back from South Africa in 1775 by Kew's first plant hunter Francis Masson. Also in the Palm House is the coco de mer (or double coconut) - a palm from the Seychelles that produces the largest seed in the world.

You can also see some of the fastest growing plants in the Palm House. Check out the giant bamboo, which has a large wooden ruler next to it to show you just how unbelievably quickly it grows.


Coming up in the magazine...

In the magazine office we're currently putting together all the features and news for our autumn issue. One feature will be celebrating four of Kew's oldest trees known as the Old Lions, which mark 250 years in the Gardens this year. We'll be bringing you their statistics and some great images too.

Kew's Ginkgo biloba is 250 years old


So, even if you didn't get tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games, come to Kew to share the excitement, see the Rings and marvel at some of the world's most amazing record breakers.




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8 August 2012
And don't forget the Coubertin Oak adjacent to the Olympic Rings!

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