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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


South Africa Landscape

Kew at the British Museum

Admission free  |  West lawn, Museum forecourt

Bird of paradise

Bird-of-paradise flower

Strelitzia reginae

When a bird lands on this flower, pollen is transferred onto the bird's breast to fertilise the next flower. More about this plant on www.kew.org

Related object in the collection

Bust of Sir Joseph Banks

On display in Room 1

The stunning bird-of-paradise flower, or crane flower, is one of the most well known in the world.

It was named by Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820), a botanist and Trustee of the British Museum.

Read more on the collection database






Bird of paradise © Richard Wilford, Stephen Ruddy, RBG Kew
Bronze portrait bust of Sir Joseph Banks by Anne Seymour Damer
© Trustees of the British Museum

Bronze portrait bust of Sir Joseph Banks


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