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Meet the experts guided tour

Meet Kew's horticultural and science staff and find out about their work behind the scenes. March tours will focus on daffodils. Every Tuesday at 11.30am.

Event details

Tuesdays at 11.30am, tour lasts about 90 minutes

Meet at the Information desk (by Victoria Plaza café) at 11.15am. 


Included with entry to the Gardens.
Get your tour ticket from any entry gate from 10am on the day of the tour
Save on the price of your Gardens ticket when you book online

Tour overview

During the guided tour you'll meet Kew's knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff and visit areas of the Gardens not normally seen by the public. You'll gain an insight into different aspects of work that Kew undertakes in areas of science, horticulture and conservation.

Depending on the featured plant or fungus, the tour could include a visit to the Jodrell Laboratory, the Herbarium or one of our nurseries. You'll see how Kew's research can be used to help people across the globe, for example with reforestation or finding alternative crops for farming in remote areas.

  • Tours will be mainly outside, but you may be taken to different areas behind the scenes at Kew.
  • All locations are wheelchair accessible.
  • Maximum of 15 people per tour.

Get your tour ticket from any entry gate from 10am on the day of the tour.

Introduction to daffodils

Narcissus is a genus in the Amaryllidaceae – the same family as snowdrops and the snowflake. The common name for all Narcissus species is daffodil.

There are around 50 species of Narcissus but more than 15,000 cultivated varieties, with around 500 of these in commercial production. They typically flower from late winter through to late spring, depending on the species, cultivar and of course the weather!

Narcissus has a mainly Mediterranean distribution with a centre of diversity in the Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar). It is a perennial, bulb-forming genus. The 'dry' bulbs we plant in the autumn are a dormant form of the plant and are composed of roots, stem and leaves.


Narcissus at Kew

The genus Narcissus is grown across the site at Kew. The majority of the species are represented, but only a tiny fraction of all cultivars. The Davies Alpine House, Rock Garden and Mediterranean Garden showcase the species, with cultivars predominating where they are naturalised in turf or in ornamental plantings. Many of the species you see growing come from material collected under permit by Kew staff on expeditions.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus (Lent lily) is one of the earliest species to flower at Kew and its first date of flowering is recorded each year. In 2016 it was already in flower by 2 January – the earliest in recorded memory. The average first flowering date for this species at Kew since 2000 is 29 January. The study of the timing of flowering is called phenology.

Conservation efforts

Five species of Narcissus are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and their existence is threatened in the wild.

Kew scientists and horticulturists are working to safeguard the future of these species by collecting seed for ex situ cultivation and seed banking. Recent trips collected 34 herbarium specimens and 36 living plants belonging to eight different Narcissus species. The plants will become part of the display collection.

April tours

Join us in April to find out more about bamboos.