Meet the experts guided tour

Meet Kew's horticultural and science staff and find out about their work behind the scenes. August tours will focus on salvias.

Salvia, Rock Garden


Tuesdays 6, 13 and 20 August 2019




Kew Gardens: Meet at the Information desk (by Victoria Plaza café) at 11.15am


Included with entry to the Gardens


Salvia is the largest genus in the mint family (the Lamiaceae), with more than 900 species from tropical and temperate regions. 

Familiar species include sage (Salvia officinalis) which is commonly used as a herb in cooking, and chia (Salvia hispanica) which originates from Mexico and Guatemala and has seeds which are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acid.

Many species of Salvia have medicinal properties, which Kew scientists are investigating. They've explored the use of  compounds from Salvia in cosmetics and the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, memory disorders, diabetes and cancer. 


Cayman sage (Salvia caymanensis) appears on the global Red List as Critically Endangered. This means that there's a very real threat to its future survival – until 2007 it was thought to be extinct.

In 2007, a population of this plant was found on Grand Cayman on a roadside verge. A large number of seeds have been collected and are now stored in the vaults at Wakehurst's Millennium Seed Bank. It's now growing in the Tropical Nursery and has been planted in Temperate House

Salvia caymanensis
Salvia caymanensis, Scott Zona via Flikr


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.

  • 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.