Close up of palm leaf > Blogs > Kew Science blog

Kew Science blog

Explore some of the research and activities of our global science and conservation programmes. Keep up to date with current developments in Kew science and science policy.
10th September 2017

Botanical Wonders in Warrington

Tracking Kew’s Victorian networks leads to exciting discoveries
Image showing Digitised specimens from Kew’s Herbarium
7th September 2017

Revealing the treasures of Kew’s Herbarium to a digital world

Kew's Herbarium has around 7 million preserved plants from around the globe - you can help us reveal them to the world.
4th September 2017

The SPARC Project – safeguarding our protected areas and rare species from climate change

Sarah Veniard explores the collaboration between Kew, Conservation International and six leading universities who are investigating how climate change will affect protected areas and rare species in them.
29th August 2017

Ain’t no mountain high enough

Decoding the unique chromosomal complexities of alpine daisies, dandelions and thistles
21st August 2017

Take a look at the science in Kew’s Herbarium and Library

Why opening Kew’s buildings and rare plant and botanical art collections to the public is an important part of our work
14th August 2017

Searching for rare plants in the Julian Alps of Slovenia

From dense forests to exposed mountain peaks, a Kew MSc student shares his experience of searching Slovenia for rare saxifrages.
7th August 2017

Discovering botanical treasures in Guinea

In this blog post, Xander van der Burgt of Kew reveals some of the discoveries Kew scientists have made since they started working in Guinea, West Africa.
1st August 2017

Scanning trees with laser beams

The Science Festival is back at Kew Gardens this weekend (4–6 August)! Science Festival intern, Mair Bosley delves into the science behind one of our fantastic festival stalls to help us see the wood for the trees.
28th July 2017

Putting bamboo and rattan on the map

This week, Kew launches a World Checklist and Atlas for Rattans and Bamboos. In this post, we explain Kew's involvement in these much needed books.
Medicinal plant market in Anguo, China
24th July 2017

Plants, drugs and rocky soil

Owen Durant, Natural Product Researcher at Kew, explains how scientists are using plant science in the quest to discover life-saving drugs.
Image showing Enset in the Agri-landscape of South West Ethiopia
17th July 2017

Enset: bananas on steroids!

Mair Bosley reveals the fascinating background behind enset, featuring in this summer's Science Festival.
Image showing Restrepia contorta, an orchid endemic to Northern Andes region and a member of Pleurothallidinae, one of the most characteristic orchid groups of the Andean mountain flora
3rd July 2017

Andean orchids – not so ancient

Thousands of orchid species in the American tropics formed more recently than expected. Kew scientist, Oscar Alejandro Pérez-Escobar explains more.
Image showing specimen bundles awaiting mounting by the Specimen Preparation Team
19th June 2017

Preserving plants for the future

Three of Kew’s specimen preparation team explain the history and process of mounting plant specimens for its herbarium.
Mellissia begoniifolia (Saint Helena boxwood), reduced to a small handful of plants in the wild (Image: T. Heller)
5th June 2017

Seed conservation in the remote South Atlantic

Tom Heller describes the important role of seed conservation in protecting vulnerable plants, while Kew Associate Phil Lambdon recounts the challenges involved in his visit to Gough Island.
Image showing the paired fruit of Marsdenia abyssinica
9th May 2017

Recurating the Apocynaceae carpological collection

Clare Drinkell and Nina Davies, curators in Kew’s herbarium, describe the mammoth task of reorganising the Apocynaceae carpological collection.
Asian farmer with her cows on rice plantation in An Giang, Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam (Image: Phuong D. Nguyen /
2nd May 2017

Burping cows are heating up our planet but scientists can stop them

New research led by scientists at Kew has revealed a ‘vicious cycle’ of warmer temperatures, tougher plants and increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from livestock; but changing livestock diets may be the solution.
Dominican Republic (Image: T. Ulian)
24th April 2017

Conservation and sustainable use of native trees in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean

Kew scientists Efisio Mattana and Tiziana Ulian discuss how Kew’s Global Tree Seed Bank project aims to preserve seeds from tree species across the world, including Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

13th April 2017

Putting Tropical Important Plant Areas on the map

Kew scientist Colin Clubbe reveals the first area to formally qualify as a Tropical Important Plant Area (TIPA), which was identified during a workshop held in the British Virgin Islands.

11th April 2017

POWO puts botanical knowledge online

Kew has launched Plants of the World Online (POWO), a website that’s open to all, with information on Kew’s vast botanical collections and floras.

Image showing Lauren Gardiner making a herbarium specimen from a leaf from a young adult Tahina spectabilis, near Amparahibe
3rd April 2017

Revisiting the Madagascan suicide palm: a spectacular discovery

In a surprise final part of the Tahina spectabilis story, Lauren Gardiner reveals a stunning discovery the team made in Madagascar last year after their return to the original site at Antsingilava, which they can only now reveal and which has just been published in the international conservation journal, Oryx.