Green Fingers I Wish

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Amazing facts right on Kew

Discover some other amazing facts about Kew.

  1. Kew's Herbarium has 7.5 million dried specimens of plants and fungi - the most comprehensive collection in the world.
  2. In 1876, Kew received 70,000 seeds collected from Amazonian rubber trees. From the seeds that were germinated, seedlings were sent to Malaysia and Sri Lanka, founding their rubber industry.
  3. The design of the Palm House was based on an upturned ship’s hull, as Richard Turner got his inspiration from boatbuilding.
  4. George lll was sent to Kew Palace to recuperate after he succumbed to porphyria.
  5. Kew Gardens was originally a nine-acre site laid out by George III's mother Princess Augusta in 1759. It's now 300 acres or 121 hectares.
  6. Kew's flagpole, at nearly 70m high, is the tallest in the UK. Made from a single piece of Douglas fir, it was a gift from Canadian Loggers' Association.
  7. Kew's Pagoda, completed in 1762, was a present for Princess Augusta, mother of George III and is almost 50m (167ft) high.
  8. The Temperate House - became the largest greenhouse in world in 1899. It 's now the largest surviving Victorian greenhouse.
  9. The oldest plant in the Palm House, a cycad, Encephalartos altensteinii, was introduced from South Africa in 1775.
  10. Kew Gardens has the largest living plant collection in the world of 30,000 species.
  11. The oldest surviving tree at Kew Gardens is a sweet chestnut, Castanea sativa, planted in the early 1700s.
  12. Some of the hollies at Kew Gardens are over 135 years old.
  13. There are 550 species in the Grass Gardens at Kew, everything from lawn to pampas.
  14. As of 4 July 2003, the Millennium Seed Bank (MSB) held in its cold store 6,655 identified species, amounting to 15,613 collections. This represents about 2.8 per cent of the world's flora.
  15. There are 22 miles of paths at Kew Gardens.


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