New discoveries to science from Kew

Over 250 years, Kew has made many discoveries about the fascinating worlds of plants and fungi. Each year, many new species of plant and fungi are discovered by our world class scientists.

We discover new things about the plants and fungi every day. This includes how different species relate to one another and new ways to use plants to make life easier and better. 

Plants are essential to life on earth. In a world where our changing environment is becoming less and less certain, the power of plants combined with Kew’s scientific expertise is ever more critical.

Support science and research at Kew | Go behind the scenes with Kew blogs

Ancient Madagascan grass sheds light on crop evolution

by: Maria Vorontsova, Kew Science blog
07 Feb 2014

Maria Vorontsova, Kew’s grass taxonomist, describes how an ancient grass lineage from Madagascar could provide valuable insights into today’s crop species.

How did plants evolve frost hardiness?

by: Rafaƫl Govaerts, Kew Science blog
03 Feb 2014

Rafaël Govaerts from Kew’s Herbarium describes the discovery of three key traits instrumental to the radiation of flowering plants into freezing environments. The results of the study were recently published online in the journal Nature and will appear in the print issue on 6 February.

Nettles in Yangzi Cave China

Kew discovers new nettle species in caves

26 Jun 2013

Scientists from China and Kew Gardens have discovered 10 new species of nettle in the caves and gorges of southwestern China.

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Sambucus nigra inflorescence

Elderflower surprise

10 Jun 2013

Scientists at Kew Gardens have discovered compounds new to science in ordinary elderflower drinks.


Photo: The dry thornbush of North East Kenya

60 year project documenting plants of East Africa celebrated at Kew Gardens

13 Sep 2012

A significant milestone in East African conservation and botany will be celebrated at Kew today, to mark the completion of The Flora of Tropical East Africa (FTEA). This vast 60 year project involved documenting and furthering knowledge of the region’s 12,104 wild plant species, including many plants new to science.


Coffea mannii

Growing coffee

25 Jul 2012

The number of species in the coffee genus has increased from 104 to 124 as a result of a new systematic study.


Gladiolus alatus

Diversity anomaly in Gladiolus

19 Jul 2012

Researchers have investigated why there are more species of Gladiolus in the Cape of southern Africa than in the Mediterranean Basin.


Jasminum humile

Mechanistic insights into Old English plants

09 Jul 2012

Plants from the Queen’s Garden at Kew have been investigated for their potential to treat auto-immune diseases.


Structures of two similar flavonoid glycosides

Spot the chemical difference

26 Jun 2012

Scientists at Kew have devised a method to distinguish similar flavonoids when chemically profiling plant extracts.


Mapping the Harapan Rainforest - how we did it

by: Jenny Williams, GIS team blog
24 May 2012

Find out how Kew's GIS unit used remote sensing and field work to produce vegetation maps for the Harapan Rainforest Project.

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