Plants: From Roots to Riches
From Episode 1 Encephalartos altensteinii, one of the world's oldest pot plants
From Episode 2 Joseph Banks, the plant collector who brought us some of our favourite garden plants
From Episode 3 Video: The Plant Family Tree
From Episode 4 Video: Fungi, the mysterious organisms supporting our ecosystems
Plants: From Roots to Riches on Radio 4
See galleries from the series and listen to archive programmes
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.
Episode 9: Plant Invaders
Kew science blog
Madagascar is home to more than 1000 species of orchid of which about 90% are endemic. Kew’s Head of Conservation Biotechnology, Viswambharan Sarasan, describes progress in the identification of orchid mycorrhizae, and how this could help future orchid conservation and restoration programmes.
Kew's Director of Science, Professor Kathy Willis, describes the BBC Radio 4 series Plants: From Roots to Riches, which goes to air today at 1.45pm. The series provides a unique examination of the major breakthroughs in botanical science, as seen through the lens of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
New species of porcini are turning up in all sorts of locations, from tropical Australia to your local food market. Kew's Head of Mycology, Bryn Dentinger, describes how these discoveries are helping to unveil the origins of porcini and their complex evolutionary history.