The Herbarium of Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is home to a massive herbarium unlike most others in the world. This is a building designed to house a large variety of plant specimens.

This building is a large brick house that is in the middle part of the gardens. It blends in particularly well with the rest of the landscape in the area.

The plant specimens are kept in the herbarium as a means of studying them. They are traditionally reviewed to find details on where they are from, what classes they might belong to and their other properties. Sometimes the plants are studied for scientific purposes to see what compounds they include and whether or not those compounds can be beneficial to people.

The specimens here are all preserved in one of two ways. First, the plants can be pressed down and dried out so their natural properties will still be intact. Second, the plants may be stored in a mixture of industrial methylated spirit, water, glycerol and formaldehyde solution. These are made to keep the plants from spoiling while in storage.

The specimens at the Kew herbarium include a large number of items from the tropics. These have been cultivated from a number of locations from around the world. In fact, it is estimated that the herbarium has about seven million different specimens on file. Tens of thousands of new items are added every year.

All of these plants are made together to create a large catalogue of plants to keep the data as organized as possible. The International Plant Names Index is used to identify individual plants and other natural growths based on their species ranks and other natural characteristics of each individual plant. The research that is performed is made to help with gathering details on as many of these plants as possible.

People can enter this part of the Kew Gardens provided that they have an appointment for doing so or if they complete and application to set up a time for visiting the area. Most of the people who go to this building are research scientists who are looking for information on what may be found in the area.

The herbarium is one of the most notable features of the Kew Gardens that makes it popular. This area is a spot that is designed with scientific research in mind to see what plants are like and how they can be classified.

Click here to see some truly beutiful pictures shot at Kew Gardens!


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