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The largest conservatory of the Victorian era will reopen its doors this Saturday in London to showcase some of the rarest plants on the planet.
After five years closed for renovation, the immense “Temperate House” in Kew Gardens in West London will be reopened to the public so they can admire the 1,500 plant species from Africa, to America, passing through Australia and Asia.
Among the plant species you can find a Wood's Cicada (Encephalartos woodii) South African from the 19th century, almost extinct in the wild, which has received the nickname of "the world's loneliest plant", since only cloned male specimens of the original survive.
Scott Taylor, the collection's chief horticulturist, said that female cycads are still being searched for to reproduce, noting how critical it is to keep all these species alive and ensure that endangered plants do not disappear.
“It has been amazing to see how this project developed, the building appears splendidly and some of the world's rarest plants return home safely,” said Richard Barley, Director of Horticulture at Kew Gardens.
The impressive building's iron and glass structure was designed by the renowned architect Decimus Burton in 1860, and it was inaugurated in 1863.
The renovation has cost 41 million pounds (55.8 million dollars) and has also involved the repair, cleaning and removal of 69,000 individual elements of the structure, according to information from the Botanical Garden.
Naturalist David Attenborough, who recently directed a documentary with Queen Elizabeth II in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, told the BBC that he "used to come here on the weekend and get some air" whenever office work got him down. , while adding that "there was a smell of the tropics."
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