Conservation in Action (1)
Explore Kew Gardens - Virtual Tour
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This Golden Barrel cactus, Echinocactus grusonii, was confiscated by Her Majesty's Customs & Excise, and is now planted here in the Princess of Wales Conservatory's arid zone at Kew. Kew acts as a 'bonded warehouse' for HM Customs and sometimes receives plants of value for conservation and public display from this source.
Micro-propagation techniques, developed at Kew, are helping to save a number of species which are threatened in the wild, such as this Globularia sarcophylla. They can then be transferred to other botanic gardens around the world for re-introduction into their natural habitat.
Unfortunately flower-arranging fashions can also threaten the survival of rare plants and these insectivorous species Sarracenia flava and Sarracenia leucophylla are now so popular that they have become increasingly rare in the wild.
Every part of this plant, Cocos nucifera - the coconut palm, is used for some purpose by man. It is very common right across the South Pacific and is grown here because Kew undertakes the responsibility of educating the public about plants of economic importance which are rarely seen in this country.