Botanic garden located at Kew, site of a former royal estate in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames. In 1759 Augusta, dowager princess of Wales and mother of George III, laid out a portion of her estate as a botanic garden. It became an eminent scientific institution under the unofficial directorship of Joseph Banks. In 1840 the gardens were donated to the nation. Under Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865), they became the world's leading botanical institution. Today they are home to 50,000 different types of plants, a herbarium of more than 5 million dried specimens, and a library of more than 130,000 volumes. The three museums at Kew are devoted largely to economic plant products and a laboratory of plant genetics and classification.
Variants of KEW GARDENS
Kew Gardens officially Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Kew Gardens, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up Kew Gardens? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.