The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. "The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" and the brand name "Kew" are also used as umbrella terms for the institution that runs both the gardens at Kew and Wakehurst Place gardens in Sussex. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is an internationally important botanical research and education institution with 700 staff and an income of £56 million for the year ended 31 March 2008, as well as a visitor attraction receiving almost two million visits in that year. Created in 1759, the gardens celebrated their 250th anniversary in 2009. The Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is responsible for the world's largest collection of living plants. The organisation employs more than 650 scientists and other staff. The living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants, while the herbarium, which is one of the largest in the world, has over seven million preserved plant specimens.
Scientists investigate occurrence of alkaloids in the heartwood of Taxus baccata (European yew)
Taxus baccata (European yew) is a well known poisonous plant. Eating a relatively small quantity of leaves can be fatal for livestock and humans. The toxicity of yew leaves is due to the presence of alkaloids ...
Major global analysis offers hope for saving the wild side of staple food crops (w/ Video)
Global efforts to adapt staple foods like rice, wheat and potato to climate change have been given a major boost today as new research shows the whereabouts of their wild cousins –which could hold beneficial ...
Revolutionising the Fungarium - a genomic treasure trove?
A DNA sequencing breakthrough has used samples from Kew's Fungarium to show that genetic information can be accessed from even very old samples, holding out the promise of significant discoveries which may ...
Improving food security and conserving yam diversity
Through its yam research programme, RBG Kew is providing scientific data contributing to improving food security and conserving yam diversity in some of the lowest GDP per capita countries.
New typology of seed development in late winter-flowering temperate woodland plants
The welcome sight of snowdrops and daffodils coming into flower in the late winter herald the promise of spring warmth just around the corner. These plants are adapted to flower early in the year to take ...
New hypothesis proposed on why some seeds are hard
Hard seeds are prevented from germinating by a water-impermeable seed coat, and for many years this has been considered to be a dormancy mechanism. Scientists from Kew, the University of Bergen and the University ...
Caffeine enhances bee memory
(Phys.org) —Caffeine is the naturally occurring drug most widely used by humans. In nature, though, it is reported to act as a bitter and toxic deterrent to herbivores, preventing leaves and seeds from ...
Framework for palm biogeography: Researchers establish a hypothesis for the evolution of palms in time and space
A series of papers in scientific journals has established a general framework for the biogeographical evolution of palms.
Germination of alpines: Climate change could shift the timing of seed germination in alpine plants
Millennium Seed Bank Partnership scientists at the Lombardy Seed Bank (University of Pavia, Italy) and Wakehurst Place (RBG Kew) are engaged in studies to understand better the impact of climate warming on ...
Herbal medicine through an evolutionary lens
A phylogenetic study has shown that related plants are used traditionally in three disparate regions to treat similar medical conditions.
Updating classifications to reflect monophyly
The move from a "traditional" to a "phylogenetic" classification of grasses (Poaceae) has resulted in 10% of species having their scientific name changed.
Genome evolution and carbon dioxide dynamics
Using the size of guard cells in fossil plants to predict how much DNA each cell contained (the genome size), researchers have discovered that variations in genome sizes over geological time correlate with ...
Spot the chemical difference
(Phys.org) -- Scientists at Kew have devised a method to distinguish similar flavonoids when chemically profiling plant extracts.