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

Image of moss

Diversification of land plants

04 Apr 2012

Researchers have reconstructed phylogenetic relationships among all 706 families of land plants.


Thrips damage on Crotalaria capensis

African anti-thrips plant

28 Mar 2012

A plant in Kew’s Temperate House has been found to contain compounds toxic to thrips.


Lord Howe Island

Sympatric speciation contributes to island biodiversity

14 Mar 2012

Scientists discover at least 11 examples of sympatric speciation on Lord Howe Island.


Vegetation and a cow in Cape Eland in Fynbos

Plant diversification in the Cape of South Africa

06 Mar 2012

Research suggests that the high levels of biodiversity in the Cape of South Africa have been promoted by a combination of complex environmental conditions and climatic stability.


Archaeorhizomycetes viewed under a scanning electron microscope

Discovering common fungi

29 Feb 2012

A PhD student helps to discover a new class of fungi.


Roses are red, violets are blue...and human heads are sign of good luck!

by: Virginia Mills, Library, Art and Archives blog
13 Feb 2012

As Valentine's Day approaches, discover the unusual way Taiwanese aborigines went about attracting a partner in the 19th Century, and why plant collector Richard Oldham said the Taiwan mountains were too dangerous a place to collect.

Hatiora cylindrica

Phylogenetics of epiphytic cacti

31 Jan 2012

DNA sequence analysis improves our understanding of the relationships between the epiphytic cacti.


Antarctic heroes

by: Christina Harrison, Kew magazine blog
17 Jan 2012

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his team reached the South Pole. But did you know that in the Joseph Hooker exhibition at Kew Gardens, you can see a letter from Scott to Sir Joseph Hooker?

Specimen of Cladrastis kentukea

12 new flavonoids discovered in Kew tree

12 Jan 2012

In the 2011 International Year of Forests, scientists report the discovery of 12 compounds new to science in a tree growing at Kew Gardens.


Epiphytes on trees

Trees influence epiphyte and invertebrate communities

04 Jan 2012

Scientists have found that genetically similar tropical trees host similar species assemblages of epiphytes and invertebrates.


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