Current Planning Issues
Kew Society members were offered a rare opportunity to visit the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This is the oldest and perhaps the most fascinating of Kew's science collections containing over 100,000 items. The collection began in 1847.
The tour was lead by Mark Nesbitt, who is senior Ethobotanist and Curator at RGB Kew and he delved into Kew's history and current science research via a unique collections of rubber, lacebark, Chinese medicines and other useful plants. The term Economic Botany essentially means 'useful plants'.
Jamaica lace plant. George II once had a suit made using this 'imitation' lace.
The bark simply peals back to expose this extraordinary lace.
Mark has been working with groups to help reintroduce this plant for commercial purposes.
The collection houses many & varied Chinese medicines.
These Alpine plants from New Zealand were labelled 'Vegetable Sheep' and caused a sensation in Victorian London.
Maori cloak, though to be ceremonial. Made from an Alpine plant that mimics leather.
Mark has been working with ethnic groups using this very valuable cloak.
Wild rubber hot water bottle.
The tour was very generously free and we are exceedingly grateful to Mark Nesbitt for making this most generous offer to our members.