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Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew publish their list of new species discovered in 2019 - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Kew selects 10 highlights from 110 species discovered in 2019

Bamboo-dwelling medicinal fungi, a snowdrop discovered on Facebook and taste-altering berry among the showstoppers on Kew’s list

2019 list celebrates the brilliant diversity of the world’s plants and fungi but also highlights some of the imminent threats they face.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has selected its top 10 species discovered in 2019, celebrating the brilliant diversity of the world’s plants and fungi. From a bamboo-dwelling medicinal fungi, to a snowdrop discovered on Facebook and a miracle berry that changes your taste buds, this year’s top picks represent the amazing breadth of new discoveries made by Kew and its collaborators across the globe every year.

Approximately 102 vascular plants and eight species of fungi were discovered in 2019 across the world from Africa, Asia, the Americas and beyond – but sadly, many are already under threat of extinction. There are increasing threats to their natural habitat from conversion to agricultural land, to hydro-electric dams, quarrying, cutting of trees for charcoal and timber, man-made fires, and climate change.

Some of these new discoveries could hold the key to the development of new medicines, provide a solution for agroforestry, or become the new plant lovers’ favourite. They are all a stark reminder of the importance of exploring and studying the world’s plant and fungal diversity before species are lost forever.