Collections at Kew

Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, Kew's rich horticultural and scientific history is interwoven with royal heritage and its historic importance. It houses the earth's largest and most diverse botanical collections, including reference collections. Browse this section to gain an insight into Kew's mission to inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life.

Seed collections

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place now conserves over 30,855 species as seed samples from at least one population. This equals a stunning 1.8 billion seeds in the bank, with another 1.8 billion conserved in the countries of origin. Find out more about this truly global conservation effort, how it has been done, how it will continue, and what it offers for the long-term benefit of people, plant species and vegetations around the world.

Discover Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership

Herbarium collections

Herb specimen

Find out what a Herbarium is, who founded Kew's Herbarium, what processes are used and how the collections are maintained.

Reference collections

Kew's library books

Kew's Library is over 150 years old. Read further to find out why it is a global resource for plant science, research and conservation.

Artefacts of plant origin

Wooden handle

The Economic Botany Collection at Kew covers all aspects of plant use. Explore further to learn how this collection began and how it is used to document the close relationship between the conservation of plants, and conservation of the traditional knowledge of the people who live with the plants.

Buildings and structures

Pagoda Vista

Kew contains over 40 listed iconic buildings, not least its impressive collection of glasshouses. Discover how botanical science, horticulture and conservation combine to establish such an elegant and historic collection of buildings and structures.