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The Tropical Nursery Open Day

Sam Crosfield
15 September 2010
Blog team: 
Members of the public are invited to the Tropical Nursery Open Day on Sunday 19th September to go behind the scenes and see rare and intriguing plants including the world's smallest water lily.

This Sunday, the 19th September, Kew’s Tropical Nursery cordially invites members of the public to go behind the scenes and learn about the fascinating work that goes on here.

Behind the scenes in Kew's Tropical Nursery

This will be another rare chance to see the smallest water lily in the world at Kew; Nymphaea thermarum. With leaf pads 1cm in diameter, this “thermal” water lily grew besides freshwater hot springs in southwest Rwanda. It disappeared from there about two years ago due to over-exploitation of the hot springs, damaging this fragile habitat. Fortunately, horticulturist Carlos Magdalena at the Tropical Nursery has solved how to propagate them regularly and in large quantities; helping to safeguard this species for the future.

Nymphaea thermarum growing at Kew Gardens

At the Open Day there will also be information on propagation techniques, conservation work and pest control, as well as displays of the amazing tropical plants raised in the nursery, including Orchids, Carnivorous plants, Bromeliads & Cacti. There will also be a chance to see rare and endangered plants, including species from the UK Overseas Territories. This is a great opportunity to learn about the role that the Tropical Nursery plays in supporting the scientific, display and conservation work that goes on at Kew. Nursery staff and volunteer guides will be on hand to talk about the plants on display and to answer any questions.

The Tropical Nursery Open Day will be between 11:00 until 17:00 (last entry at 16:00). Please enter through the gate beside the White Peaks café.

We hope to see you there. In the meantime, I shall get back to cleaning my window panes.

- Sam Crosfield -

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