Image showing a grass dominated ecosystem on the Horombe plateau in central Madagascar occupy 20– 40% of Earth.
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Scientific Meeting: Growing the Grass Classification

This summer Kew scientists will meet with international colleagues to discuss the classification of grasses.

Why are grasses important?

The grass family is one of the largest families of flowering plants with around 12,000 species. Grasses feed the world and grasslands cover 20– 40% of the planet. They are more important for mankind than any other group of plants, but are difficult to identify because they have small flowering parts and complex floral morphology which is usually studied by dedicated specialists.

A scientific meeting on 18-19 July

Kew taxonomists have been studying the grass family for the last 150 years and one of the most influential grass experts will be 90 years old this summer. The meeting will celebrate Derek Clayton’s 56 years at Kew and his 116 scientific publications. Plans will be made for the future development of his GrassBase, the first ever electronic taxonomic database designed by Derek.

The meeting will take place at the Linnean Society and anyone interested in the classification of grasses is welcome to attend.

Further information about this meeting is available here.