Plants in Peril exhibitionSat 25 June 2011 - Mon 09 April 2012
This exhibition in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art presented illustrations of endangered plants from over thirty countries around the world.
Encephalartos woodii, © Leslie Carol Berge. Extinct in the wild.
Jade vine © Pauline Dean. Extinct in the wild.
Plants in Peril
This exhibition presented paintings from the Shirley Sherwood Collection of endangered plants from over thirty countries around the world, with particular emphasis on South African plants. For its size, South Africa has the greatest diversity of flora in the world and nearly 40% of its indigenous species are threatened, primarily due to loss of habitat. This exhibition also featured many familiar horticultural plants from around the world which are extinct or rare in the wild. Examples included Pauline Dean’s 'Jade Vine' from the Philippines and Manabu Saito’s 'Ginkgo biloba' from China. As well as showing the beauty of some of the world’s most threatened plants, the exhibition also informed visitors about the laws and conservation initiatives in place to protect plants.
The Smallest Kingdom
Also on display were some original paintings by Liz Fraser which were used for Kew's publication The Smallest Kingdom .
The book explores the plants that the South African region has given to gardens all over the world for the last four centuries. Over Kew's 250 year history, plants from South Africa’s Cape, and their collectors, have contributed greatly to the establishment of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as the pre-eminent centre for botanical research. The book is illustrated throughout with full colour botanical paintings, and will appeal to conservationists, gardeners, botanists, historians, botanical artists, naturalists, and visitors to the Cape. More details of the book can be found here.
Find out more about our exhibition Plants in Peril from the Autumn 2011 issue of Kew Magazine.
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