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Science and conservation

  • palm canopy
    Kew launches new Science Strategy Our new strategy sets out how we will use our world-class collections and scientific expertise to make a unique and valuable contribution to plant and fungal science.
  • Montage of images showing scientific research
    New MSc course at Kew Find out more about the new MSc in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation
  • Kew Science blog
    Science blogs Find out more about the latest science and conservation work at Kew.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: A Global Resource  for Plant and Fungal  Knowledge Science Strategy 2015-2020

Kew is a global resource for plant and fungal knowledge. We have one of the largest and most diverse collections of plant and fungal specimens (living and preserved) in the world. 

Our unique combination of extensive collections, databases, scientific expertise and global partnerships gives us a leading role in facilitating access to fundamental plant and fungal information. The core purpose of our science stems from a simple but often overlooked truth: all our lives depend on plants.
Download our Science Strategy to find out how we intend to make an invaluable contribution to some of the biggest issues facing the global population.



Kew Science blog


Read the Kew Science blog for an insight into Kew's latest scientific research.

Kew Science News

Photo showing diversity of mushrooms from a cloud forest in Ecuador (Image: B. Dentinger)
Genome mining from fungarium specimens
High throughput DNA sequencing has been used to produce the first fully-supported phylogeny of Agaricales.
Fascination of Plants Day
On 18 May 2015 Kew will be joining plant science organisations around the globe in a collective aim to reveal the fascinating world of plant science
Jonas Mueller with Chinese colleagues
Seed-collecting in China’s Yunnan province
Yunnan province covers only 4% of China’s land surface, yet is home to about half of China’s plant species. Kew scientist Jonas Mueller joined a team from the Kunming Institute of Botany to collect key plant species in the southern parts of the province.
Mind the (gender) gap?
A unique and complete data set created and maintained by Kew scientists over the last 260 years has revealed a striking difference in the number of new plant species described by male and female botanists.

Kew magazine wins at the GMG Awards

Kew magazine won the Environmental Award  at the GMG Awards at The Savoy in London (26 November). The award was for a piece by Stephanie Pain called 'Saving for the Future' on the UK National Tree Seed Project, which appeared in the spring issue. 

Download 'Saving for the Future'


Fungi research at Kew

Fungi research at Kew

Plants and fungi in focus

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Turmeric is the source of a bright yellow-orange culinary spice and dye and has important medicinal and cultural uses.

Illustration of Curcuma longa
Illustration of Curcuma longa by Franz Eugen Kohler, from Kohler's Medicinal Plants, 1887.

In the 13th century Marco Polo wrote of this spice, marvelling at a vegetable that exhibited qualities so similar to saffron. Familiar to the contemporary world as a prime component of curry powder, the orange-yellow rhizome's striking colour lent it a special aura in ancient India.

Turmeric can be seen growing in Kew’s Palm House.

More about turmeric

Adopt a seed

Help Kew's Millennium Seed Bank protect the future of the world's plants by adopting a seed for as little as £25.

Dimorphotheca nudicaulis seeds

UK Native Seed Hub

Kew can provide seeds and support services for conservation and habitat restoration organisations.

Photo of bee on Succisa pratensis flower

'Plants: From Roots to Riches' Book

Based on the Radio 4 series. Kathy Willis and Carolyn Fry take us from the birth of botany right through to modern day plant science.

Plants: From Roots to Riches, a landmark Radio 4 series

More from Kew

Fungi Kingdom

Discover the diversity and importance of fungi.

Amanita muscaria Fly Agaric

Millennium Seed Bank

Find out more about our vital work saving seeds.

Photo of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank

People & data

Kew's science teams, databases and publications.

Montage of scientific activity

Species browser

Explore Kew's plant & fungi profiles.

Photo of Capsicum annuum fruits