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

Pressing plants in Bolivia

Kew's projects in Bolivia

05 Apr 2011

In Bolivia Kew has been working with local partners to identify conservation priorities, to support the development of protected areas and to catalogue the extraordinary diversity of the country's Compositae (daisy) family.


Scanning electron micrographs of dissected floral buds of Polygala violacea (left) and P. gomesiana (right) (Image: M. Angélica Bello Gutierrez).

Development of keeled flowers

25 Mar 2011

A study using scanning electron microscopy has revealed that the keeled petals of Leguminosae and Polygalaceae are fundamentally different.


Finding thriving specimens of a rare Caribbean shrub

by: Sara, Colin and Martin, UK Overseas Territories team blog
17 Mar 2011

Kew conservationists are thrilled to have identified a rare shrub at several previously unknown sites on Virgin Gorda in the Caribbean.

Everest sketch by Joseph Hooker, c.1848

Earliest European view of Everest found in Kew Archives

24 Feb 2011

A sketch by former Kew Director Joseph Hooker, found in Kew's archives, is thought to be one of the first recorded views of Mount Everest by a European.


Adventure and discovery around the world with the plant hunters

by: Michele Losse, Library, Art and Archives blog
18 Feb 2011

Plant hunters frequently travelled across the world to discover new plants for science. Discover some of their adventures here with stories from Kew's Archives.

Rediscovering the comb fern in the Falkland Islands

by: Pat Griggs, UK Overseas Territories team blog
27 Jan 2011

Find out how Kew botanists were able to confirm the identity of the comb fern, a tiny plant believed to be extinct in the Falkland Islands until it was spotted growing on the island of West Falkland more than 180 years after its only previous sighting there.

New year, new office, new challenges!

by: Helen Hartley, Library, Art and Archives blog
24 Jan 2011

Can you work it out? Kew's Directors' Correspondence Digitisation Team set a challenge to decipher some 19th century handwriting as they start the new year in their brand new offices.

Botanical challenge: Identifying specimens in Kew's Herbarium

by: Gemma Bramley, Herbarium blog
18 Jan 2011

Find out how Kew botanists, specialising in the flora of southeast Asia, get together every Friday afternoon for the 'family sort' of specimens newly arrived to the Herbarium.

The team in Mozambique's coastal forest

Botanical surveys of the coastal forests of Mozambique

13 Jan 2011

Fieldwork in the coastal forests of northern Mozambique has so far led to the discovery of 20 new species and 50 species not previously recorded in the country.


The naming of a mistletoe

by: Tim Harris, Herbarium blog
13 Jan 2011

Find out how collaboration between mistletoe experts and the Drylands Africa team in the Herbarium resulted in a new species of mistletoe being documented.

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