The botanists went to south-west Tasmania with colleagues from Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank and other agencies. Working in collaboration with the Tasmanian Botanic Garden, seeds from all the plants they encountered were collected and are now safely stored both in Tasmania and in the vaults at the Millennium Seed Bank. The team’s fieldwork allowed horticulturalists at Wakehurst to grow rare and unusual shrubs and trees from these cold rain forests, including Banksia marginata.
A multi-author study involving Kew scientists and led by Professor Angela Moles (University of New South Wales), asks the simple question ‘Which is the better predictor of plant traits: temperature or precipitation’. Published in the Journal of Vegetation Science, it is the first in an intended series of analyses of an unprecedented global dataset, including data for 21 plant traits from 447,961 species-site combinations worldwide.
Kew has won a £500,000 grant, plus technical support, in the 2014 Google Impact Challenge UK. This is a competition sponsored by Google and Nesta, which invited charities to pitch innovative ideas to make use of technology for social and environmental purposes. From an initial field of over 200 applicants, just ten charities were selected as finalists, each guaranteed to receive £200,000 and support from Google. Of these, three charities – Kew, Centrepoint and WeFarm – won the maximum grant, with a fourth, RNIB, being chosen by public vote.
A new floral project is flourishing in the warm weather and producing a riot of native colour.
In the Upper Walled Nursery at Wakehurst, the Grow Wild area is an ambitious mass-participation campaign to inspire individuals and communities to engage with the huge range and variety of UK native wild flowers.