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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.
Photo of Mt Nok New Guinea
21st February 2014

Evelyn Cheesman’s blue orchid

André Schuiteman, senior researcher in orchids at Kew, relates the discovery by the intrepid Evelyn Cheesman of one of the very few blue-flowered epiphytic orchids, Dendrobium azureum, which he recently described as a new species.
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Photo of taknig a core sample from Diospyros
14th February 2014

Tackling illegal wildlife trade through a scientific and partnership approach

Madeleine Groves, the CITES Implementation Officer at Kew, describes how the application of science can help combat illegal wildlife trade.
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Photo of a new population of Lecomtella above the Riambavy waterfall
7th February 2014

Ancient Madagascan grass sheds light on crop evolution

Maria Vorontsova, Kew's grass taxonomist, describes how an ancient grass lineage from Madagascar could provide valuable insights into today's crop species.
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Image of Sorbus torminalis in the snow
3rd February 2014

How did plants evolve frost hardiness?

Rafaël Govaerts from Kew's Herbarium describes the discovery of three key traits instrumental to the radiation of flowering plants into freezing environments. The results of the study were recently published online in the journal Nature and will appear in the print issue on 6 February.
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Laurels
27th January 2014

What’s in a name? New version of The Plant List released

Alan Paton, Assistant Keeper of Kew's Herbarium, describes some of the problems associated with plant names and the importance of the new release of The Plant List.
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Nepenthes ultra from the Philippines
20th January 2014

12 new carnivorous plant species from the Philippines

Martin Cheek, a senior botanist at Kew, describes how 12 new species of carnivorous pitcher plants from the Philippines were discovered among Kew’s 7 million herbarium specimens.
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Trithuria sumbersa on agar
13th January 2014

Tiny plants make a huge impact

Paula Rudall from Kew’s Jodrell Laboratory describes how comparative studies on the micromorphology of tiny plants can help us better understand flowering plant evolution
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Range of chromosome sizes in angiosperms.
6th January 2014

When it comes to genomes, size matters

Jaume Pellicer and colleagues from Kew's Jodrell Laboratory describe the immense variation in the amount of DNA in flowering plants and why, when it comes to genomes, size really does matter.
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Painting of Richardson fir
16th December 2013

The taxonomy and evolution of Christmas trees and their relatives

Rhian Smith takes a closer look at Christmas trees and their relatives, and describes the scientific work Kew is carrying out on the taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of this important group of plants.
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9th December 2013

Filling in the gaps: seed collecting for the future

Sarah Cody explains how gap analysis is helping our partners collect the seed of crop wild relatives (CWR) for a project called 'Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change', run jointly by Kew's Millennium Seed Bank and the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
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Eligmocarpus cynometroides immature fruits
2nd December 2013

A snapshot of extinction in action

Dion Devey and Sven Buerki, from Kew’s Jodrell Laboratory, discuss their research into the critically endangered Madagascan plant, Eligmocarpus cynometroides.
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