Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Last updated: 22 November 2022

PlantNetwork member
Address and contact details
Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB
Tel: 0181 332 5000
Fax: 0181 3325197
Web site:
Latitude: 51° 29' 01" N
Longitude: 00° 17' 20" W
Background to the collection
Year founded:1759
Ownership:Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Garden code:K
Umbrella organisation:PlantNetwork, English Heritage, National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens
Director: Professor Stephen D. Hopper
Curator: Nigel Taylor
Contact person: Nigel Taylor
Total Staff:580
Accessions:Yes, apply to Curator
Collections:Yes, apply to Curator
Physical environment
Altitude:6 m
Soil type:Sand, acid
Aspect:Mostly flat
Total area:130 ha
Area heated:30 000 m²
Other sites of collection:Wakehurst Place
Castle Howard Arboretum
Weather recordsRecords kept
Average daily:10.8 °C
Av. monthly max:15.04 °C
Av. monthly min:6.6 °C
Absolute maximum:36.2 °C
Absolute minimum:-10.9 °C
Strength:Below average
Average annual:605 mm
Month of maximum:June
Month of minimum:September
Plant collection
Plants:108 663
Notable plants within the collection:
Includes champion trees, old historic specimens, plants of conservation status
Special families within the collections:
Alliaceae, Aloaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Araceae, Bromeliaceae, Cactaceae, Compositae, Ericaceae, Gramineae, Iridaceae, Labiatae, Leguminosae, Liliaceae, Oleaceae, Orchidaceae, Palmae, Pinaceae, Saxifragaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae
Special collections:
The whole collection is a national collection.
Record Keeping:Kept since 1840
Computerised since 1968
Record System:unknown
Plant-collecting trips:International and national
Facilities on site
Herbarium:Approximately 7 000 000 specimens, including 250 000 types, 200 000 cultivated 80 000 and 80 000 artefacts of plant and fungal origin. Code K in Index Herbariorum
Library:Over 7000 000 items, including 10 000 maps, 10 000 microforms, 175 000 illustrations, 250 000 letters, 500 portraits, 125 000 monographs, 150 000 pamphlets. No public access
Research facilities:General biological laboratories, micropropagation, cryopreservation, subcellular microscopy, seed banking (at Wakehurst Place) and molecular
Publications:Garden catalogue, Kew Scientist and many more. List of publications available
Identifications:Undertakes free identifications for the general public. Internal verification of material
Teaching and Education:Primary, secondary, higher, taxonomic, public education, special courses
Interpretation:Supervised garden walks, signs, brochures, guided trails
Friends Organisation:Yes
Visitor facilities:Restaurant, café, plant shop, gift shop
Access to the collections
Public access:Admission charge
Visitors per year:1,000,000
Public opening hours:Mon-Sun: 9.30am to 4-7.30pm in summer
Guiding principles behind the collection
The mission of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew is to enable better management of the Earth's environment by increasing knowledge and understanding of the plant kingdom - the basis of life on Earth.
Numbers for the whole of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, including Wakehurst Place:
– Families: 555.
– Genera: 4875.
– Species: 13 808.
– Taxa: 33 748.
– Accessions: 72 254.
– Plants: 148 008
Location map

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