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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.
Foxglove (Digitalis pupurea) with terminal peloric flower (Photo: P.J. Rudall)

Weird and wonderful foxgloves

Paula Rudall, reflects on how careful observation can reveal weird and wonderful structures.

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Image showing the results of a prolific day of plant and fungus collecting in Madagascar

Tales from the tropics

Kew MSc students write home from Madagascar, where they are currently in the field.

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Sea beet (Beta vulgaris subspecies maritima) growing on a shingle beach (Image: M.Chester).

Understanding plant chromosome evolution

Michael Chester, Research Fellow in Plant Resources at Kew, reports on his research on plant chromosomes and the potential of technological advances in DNA sequencing.

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Image of Sorbus torminalis in the snow

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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Photo of laboratory apparatus collecting leaf exudate from aloe leaves in the Jodrell Laboratory

Unravelling the evolutionary history of Aloe vera and its relatives

Plantasia, Kew’s summer festival celebrating the positive effects of plants, is underway. Researcher Olwen Grace highlights investigations in the Jodrell Laboratory on Aloe vera, one of the most widely used plant species in the world today, and other aloes.
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Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman to author a plant name in the Linnean system and author of A Curious Herbal.

Mind the (gender) gap: Kew's records show fewer than 3% of land plant species published by women

A unique and complete dataset created and maintained by Kew scientists over the last 260 years, has revealed a striking difference in the number of new species of plants described by male and female botanists.

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Photo of Rhododendron malayanum (Ericacaeae) from Southeast Asia

Kew’s new Tropical Plant Identification Handbook

A new book written by botanists from Kew’s Herbarium aims to convey information about tropical plant families in an easy-to-use and accessible format. Timothy Utteridge, Head of the South-East Asia Team and generalist botanist in Kew’s Herbarium, describes how the book was developed.
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Dendrobium cuthbertsonii

The diversity of terra incognita: predicting orchid species richness in New Guinea

André Schuiteman, Research Leader in Identification and Naming, explains how we can predict the species richness of unexplored areas.

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Leaves of Tahina spectabilis individuals can be seen emerging from the other vegetation

Revisiting the Madagascan suicide palm

Kew scientist Lauren Gardiner recounts the tale of the discovery of the extraordinary Madagascan suicide palm, Tahina spectabilis. Lauren, along with a group of international botanists, recently returned to the only known location of this palm – a story which Lauren will tell in next week’s Kew Science blog
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