Plants: From Roots to Riches
From Episode 25 Protecting coffee from the threat of extinction
Episode 21 How has DNA revolutionised plant science and research?
From Episode 19 Kew's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst has successfully save seeds from over 13% of the world's wild plant species
From Episode 18 The great storm of 1987 provided new opportunities to revive the health of Kew's mature trees
From Episode 17 The Flora of Tropical East Africa (FTEA): The largest botanical project of its kind completed over the last 100 years
From Episode 15 Traditional herbal remedies are now being investigated to discover new medicines
From Episode 14 Crop Wild Relatives — the search for sustainable crops
From Episode 13 Tony Kirkham, Head of Kew’s arboretum, explains how Kew has managed the threat of ash dieback
BBC Radio 4 is broadcasting a new 25-part series about the relationship between people and plants over the last 250 years. This major new partnership between the BBC and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, will tell the story of botany and plant science at Kew Gardens.
Presented by Kew's Director of Science, Professor Kathy Willis, the series features stories from Kew's rich heritage, starting with the early botanists and plant hunters whose pioneering work storing and categorising plants established botany as an important scientific discipline. Later episodes will show how Kew continues to lead the way in modern day plant science throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Featuring interviews with Kew scientists, and delving into Kew’s unique archives, the series will bring the story up to date by exploring key contemporary scientific advances such as the use of DNA testing in plant classification.
Plants: From Roots to Riches on Radio 4
Episode 25: The Great Providers
Kew science blog
Biocultural collections are a vital tool for research into human uses of the plant and animal worlds – the field known as ethnobiology. Mark Nesbitt, Curator of Kew’s own Economic Botany Collection, tells us about a major new Kew publication on the uses and care of such collections.
Recently-released IUCN Red List assessments for slipper orchids from the temperate Northern Hemisphere show that a shocking 79% of species are threatened with extinction. Mike Fay, Head of Genetics and Chair of the IUCN Orchid Specialist Group, describes Kew’s Red Listing of these iconic plants and what is being done to save them.
Sarah Barlow (Plant Ecologist) and Phil Stevenson (Natural Products Chemist), from Kew’s Jodrell Laboratory, report recent research on the role of floral alkaloids in the pollination of monkshood (Aconitum spp.)
More from Kew
Book of the month
Plants: from roots to riches - a companion to the series.
Enjoy a framed picture in your own home with a botanical print.
Tea towel and bag with designs by Holly Francesca.
To the Gardens for you and a family member. £72 per year.