London's Kew Gardens welcomes back the “loneliest tree in the world”

12 December 2017

Kew Gardens, Temperate House, London - ISG

An ancient tree specimen – the last of its kind on earth – has moved back into Temperate House at Kew Gardens, following ISG’s restoration work at the Grade I listed Victorian glasshouse.

Encephalartos woodii is a cycad, a type of plant that once dominated the planet 300 million years ago during the Jurassic Period.

Over the years, the age of the cycad has come to an end and the male specimen of the tree at Kew Gardens is the only discovered cycad of its kind in the world.

During restoration work on the glasshouse, the ISG project team helped the client to move the cycad from Temperate House where it has lived for 117 years.

The plant, which may have once shaded triceratops, has its own video on YouTube which has been viewed over 1.5 million times.

As the restoration project reaches its final stages, ISG and the client team are now moving the plants back into their new home.

Temperate House took 40 years to build and is the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse.

It was placed on the Heritage at Risk register in 2012 after corrosion damage was discovered.

The project is due for completion in spring 2018.