Kew’s Herbarium contains around seven million preserved plant specimens. These specimens contain a wealth of information about plants that have been collected around the world over the past 150 years. This priceless resource is used for research into plant diversity and uses.
Within the vault of the Millennium Seed Bank is the Seed Collection, which represents the greatest concentration of living seed-plant biodiversity on earth. The bank is a global resource for conservation and sustainable use of plants.
Kew's Economic Botany Collection illustrates the extent of human use of plants around the world. The huge variety of objects includes artefacts made from plants, as well as raw plant materials, such as wood samples.
Kew’s DNA and Tissue Bank contains approximately 56,000 samples representing nearly all families (507 families), and over half the genera (around 7,100) of flowering plants. The composition of the collection reflects studies carried out at Kew over the last 24 years.
Kew’s microscope slide collection holds over 150,000 specimens from a diverse range of plant taxa, particularly from seed-producing plants. The slides include leaf surfaces and sections, pollen, wood, roots and chromosomes.
Kew’s Library contains nearly 2,000 years of plant knowledge and discovery including information on the naming, classification and uses of plants, plant ecology and conservation, and wild plants of the world.
The Illustrations and Artefact Collections are a world renowned resource for botanical illustration forming an exceptional visual record for species of plants and fungi.