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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.
18th December 2017

Is mistletoe more than just an excuse for a kiss?

Mike Fay explores our long relationship with mistletoe, and delves into its biological peculiarities.
The specimen tree of Dinizia jueirana-facao from which the collection designated as the type was prepared (Photo © G.P. Lewis)
11th December 2017

Probably the world's heaviest living organism described in 2017?

Kew scientist Gwilym Lewis describes his involvement in and the process of discovering a new tree species in Brazil, as tall as a 12 storey building and as heavy as a sperm whale!
5th December 2017

Tubers in Trouble

Serene Hargreaves and Paul Wilkin report on the risk of extinction in Dioscorea, revealing how threatened they are, and why it matters.
Image showing flowers and fruit of 'Keraudenia' at Botak.
27th November 2017

Species discovery and seed banking in New Guinea, Indonesia

Martin Cheek describes a recent research trip to New Guinea, where a team of Kew scientists stumbled upon a new species on the roadside.
Image showing Salix herbacea
17th November 2017

Could fungi determine which plants survive, and which don’t?

Relationships between plants and fungi are important and more complex than previously thought, influencing the ability of ecosystems to adapt to impacts such as climate change.
Image showing that Colombia has at least 91 different types of ecosystems
9th November 2017

Colombia: megadiverse and still to be discovered

Mauricio Diazgranados reveals how Kew is contributing to the ‘green’ development of this country through capacity building and scientific research on its natural resources.
7th November 2017

Six continents, five years: one big plant book

Plants of the World – An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants, the first to describe all 451 families of flowering plants, ferns, lycopods and gymnosperms, has been published.
30th October 2017

The Empty Quarter: Arabia’s disappearing plant life

Emma Seal introduces a new Kew project in Oman, set to safeguard the unique Arabian flora of the region.
Wild flower meadows provide shelter and food for important pollinators including bees
23rd October 2017

Plant colours are not all about pigments

Kew Scientist Paula Rudall reflects on a long-term Cambridge-Kew collaboration on why structural colour in plants is so important in the natural world, including helping birds and bees to find food and pollinate flowers.
16th October 2017

Kew journeys into the wilds of Indonesia

Kew scientist and Head of the Identification and Naming Department, Tim Utteridge, describes a recent trip to Indonesia and work that Kew is doing with the country to record and protect its incredibly rich plant diversity.
Titan Arum
9th October 2017


Kew Scientist Geoffrey Kite and Amorphophallus expert Wilbert Hetterscheid explain why they spent their evenings trying to capture the odours of some of the world's weirdest and smelliest 'flowers'.
27th September 2017

Do lime trees kill bees?

Hauke Koch and Phil Stevenson investigate the theories behind the mysterious mass deaths of bees on lime trees, and other effects of pollen and nectar chemicals on pollinators.
18th September 2017

Treating tropical ulcers: the quest for a plant-based cure

Kew scientist Tom Prescott describes his search for a plant medicine to treat tropical ulcers in remote areas of Papua New Guinea.
12th September 2017

Madagascar’s wildlife – a President’s vision

The President of Madagascar visits Kew and discusses critical wildlife conservation in the country with our scientists and members of Kew’s Madagascar Conservation Centre. Kew has strong links to Madagascar, employing a team of Malagasy botanists who implement a range of projects focused on plant diversity, research and conservation.
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.