Gardeners granted access to scientific viewing gallery

Garden and greenhouse fans may be particularly interested in a new exhibit at a London attraction.

The Natural History Museums Darwin Centre opened earlier this month and has a number of botanical displays.

Part of the function of the facility is to house scientists who work on everything from cross breeding to DNA examination of plants.

A viewing gallery allows members of the public to watch the experts at work, while a two-way microphone lets them to pose questions about the experiments.

Visitors can expect to see some of the three million species of plant held by the attraction.

Included in the collection is the 17th century Vegetable Lamb of Tartary. When the specimen was discovered, it was thought to be a cross between a plant and an animal, thanks to its shape.

However, it was later discovered to be a rhizome of the fern Cibotium barometz.

Meanwhile, the Natural History Museum is today (September 24th) hosting Blood, Sweat and Botany – an exhibition centring on plants native to the forests of Central America.