Organization:Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
|Type||Non-departmental public body|
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An internationally important botanical research and education institution, it employs 1,100 staff. Its board of trustees is chaired by Dame Amelia Fawcett.
The organisation manages botanic gardens at Kew in Richmond upon Thames in south-west London, and at Wakehurst, a National Trust property in Sussex which is home to the internationally important Millennium Seed Bank, whose scientists work with partner organisations in more than 95 countries. Kew, jointly with the Forestry Commission, founded Bedgebury National Pinetum in Kent in 1923, specialising in growing conifers. In 1994, the Castle Howard Arboretum Trust, which runs the Yorkshire Arboretum, was formed as a partnership between Kew and the Castle Howard Estate.
In 2019, the organisation had 2,316,699 public visitors at Kew, and 312,813 at Wakehurst. Its 326-acre (132 ha) site at Kew has 40 historically important buildings; it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. The collections at Kew and Wakehurst include over 27,000 taxa of living plants, 8.3 million plant and fungal herbarium specimens, and over 40,000 species in the seed bank.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew states that its mission is to apply scientific discovery and research to fully develop the information about and potential uses of plants and fungi.
A conference held in 1976 by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew was important as it established a co-ordinating body in order to determine which threatened plants are in cultivation and where they are located which played a role in plant conservation.
Kew is governed by a board of trustees which comprises a chairman and eleven members. Ten members and the chairman are appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. His Majesty the King appoints his own trustee on the recommendation of the Secretary of State. (As of 2022) the Board members are:
- Dame Amelia Fawcett (Chair)
- Judith Batchelar
- Steve Almond
- Sarah Flannigan
- Professor Christopher Gilligan
- Professor Ian Graham
- Krishnan Guru-Murthy
- Kate Priestman
- Sir Paul Nurse
- David Richardson
- John Scanlon
- Jantiene Klein Roseboom van der Veer
The scientific staff at Kew maintain a variety of plant and fungal data and digital resources, including:
Plants of the World Online
Plants of the World Online is an online database launched in March 2017 as one of nine strategic outputs with the ultimate aim being "to enable users to access information on all the world's known seed-bearing plants by 2020". It links taxonomic data with images from the collection, to provide a single point of access with information on identification, distribution, traits, conservation, molecular phylogenies and uses. In addition it serves as a backbone for global resources such as World Flora Online.
International Plant Names Index
The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) includes information from the Index Kewensis, a project which began in the 19th century to provide an "Index to the Names and Authorities of all known flowering plants and their countries". The Harvard University Herbaria and the Australian National Herbarium co-operate with Kew in the IPNI database, which was launched in its present form in 1999 to produce an authoritative source of information on botanical nomenclature including publication details of seed plants, ferns and lycophytes. It is a nomenclatural listing of all published taxonomic plant names including new species, new combinations and new names at rank of botanical family down to infraspecific. It provides data for other related projects including Tropicos and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP) is a register of accepted scientific names and synonyms of 200 selected seed plant families. WCSP is widely used, and most authoritative web resources on plants use it as their basis.
World Checklist of Vascular Plants
The World Checklist of Vascular Plants (WCVP) includes all known vascular plant species (flowering plants, conifers, ferns, clubmosses, and firmosses). It is derived from the WCSP and the IPNI and therefore only includes names found in those databases. It is the taxonomic database for Plants of the World Online. Since WCSP includes only selected families, WCVP will seek to complete the process.
World Checklist of Useful Plant Species
The Plant List
Kew also cooperated with the Missouri Botanical Garden and other international bodies in The Plant List (TPL). Unlike the IPNI, it provides information on which names are currently accepted. The Plant List is an Internet encyclopedia project which was launched in 2010 to compile a comprehensive list of botanical nomenclature. The Plant List has 1,064,035 scientific plant names of species rank of which 350,699 are accepted species names. In addition, the list has 642 plant families and 17,020 plant genera. It was last updated in 2013, and was superseded by World Flora Online.
World Flora Online
World Flora Online was developed as a successor to The Plant List, in 2012, aiming to include all known plants by 2020.
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – its two main sites:
- Kew Gardens
- Wakehurst, West Sussex
- Curtis's Botanical Magazine, an illustrated publication which began in 1787 and is published by Wiley-Blackwell for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- Directors of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- Index Kewensis, a massive index of plant names started and maintained by Kew Gardens
- Joseph Dalton Hooker, who succeeded his father, William Jackson Hooker, as director in 1865
- Kew Bulletin, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by Springer Science+Business Media on behalf of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
- The Great Plant Hunt, a primary school science initiative created by Kew Gardens, commissioned and funded by the Wellcome Trust
- Kew Gardens (Leases) Act 2019, an Act of Parliament relating to the Gardens
- Annual reports 2020.
- "How we work". Millennium Seed Bank. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://www.kew.org/wakehurst/attractions/millennium-seed-bank.
- England, Forestry Commission. "History of Bedgebury National Pinetum" (in en-gb). https://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6n4fdx.
- "Background" (in en-GB). http://www.yorkshirearboretum.org/background/.
- "ALVA – Association of Leading Visitor Attractions". https://www.alva.org.uk/details.cfm?p=423.
- Guinness World Records 2011. Guinness World Records. 2010. pp. 69. ISBN 978-1-904994-57-2. https://archive.org/details/guinnessworldrec00/page/69.
- "Living Collections at Kew". https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/plants/living-collection.
- "Science collections at Kew". https://www.kew.org/read-and-watch/launching-collections-strategy.
- RBG mission 2020.
- Prance, Ghillean T. (December 2010). "A brief history of conservation at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" (in en). Kew Bulletin 65 (4): 501–508. doi:10.1007/s12225-010-9231-2. ISSN 0075-5974. http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s12225-010-9231-2.
- "Board of Trustees". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://www.kew.org/about-us/who-we-are/board-of-trustees.
- RBG science 2020.
- "Kew Science staff". London: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/people-data/science-directory/people.
- "UK and Islands – Madagascar". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://www.kew.org/science/our-science/departments/conservation-science/uk-madagascar.
- RBG data 2020.
- POWO 2020.
- Jackson 1893, Hooker JD. Preface, in.
- Turner & Govaerts 2019.
- Neotropikey 2020.
- WCSP 2020.
- WCVP 2020.
- WCUPS 2020.
- Paton 2013.
- WFO 2020.
- The Plant List 2013.
- Jackson, Benjamin Daydon (1893). Hooker, Joseph Dalton. ed. Index Kewensis plantarum phanerogamarum: nomina et synonym omnium generum et specierum a linnaeo usque as annum MDCCLXXXV complectans nomine recepro auctore patria unicuique planta subjectis: sumptibus beati Caroli Roberti Darwin ductu et consilio Josephi D. Hooker. 2 vols.. Oxford: Clarendon Press. https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/66720#/summary. (at Biodiversity Heritage Library)
- Diazgranados, Mauricio et al. (June 2020). World Checklist of Useful Plant Species. Technical Reports. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. doi:10.5063/F1CV4G34. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342361356.
- Turner, Robert; Govaerts, Rafaël (19 June 2019). "Challenges of Integrating and Curating Nomenclatural and Taxonomic Data in the World Checklist of Vascular Plants". Biodiversity Information Science and Standards 3. doi:10.3897/biss.3.37226.
- "Royal Botanic Gardens Kew annual report and accounts". https://www.gov.uk/search/all?keywords=%22Royal+Botanic+Gardens+Kew+annual+report+and+accounts%22&order=relevance.
- "About us". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://www.kew.org/about-us.
- "Kew Science". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://www.kew.org/science.
- "Data and digital resources". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://www.kew.org/science/collections-and-resources/data-and-digital.
- "About the Plants of the World Online portal". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://powo.science.kew.org/about.
- "Neotropikey: Neotropical Flowering Plants". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.kew.org/science/tropamerica/neotropikey.htm.
- "World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://wcsp.science.kew.org/home.do.
- "World Checklist of Vascular Plants". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://wcvp.science.kew.org.
- "The Plant List". 2020. http://www.theplantlist.org.
- Paton, Alan (2013). "What's in a name? New version of The Plant List released". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://www.kew.org/read-and/watch/new-plant-list-released.
- "World Flora Online: An Online Flora of All Known Plants". The World Flora Online Consortium. http://worldfloraonline.org/.
- Official website
- A Year at Kew – BBC documentary behind the scenes at Kew Gardens (archived 13 February 2005)
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