A 'miracle berry' that makes sour foods taste sweet and a fungus that can treat arthritis are among the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew's top ten discoveries of the year.

The highlighted finds come from the 102 plant and eight fungi species found by the institution and its partners across 2019.

The discoveries include species that could help develop new medicines, or become fresh favourites for plant lovers — but many are already at risk of extinction from deforestation, agriculture and energy developments, Kew experts said.

Also among the top 10 are an 'orchid' found in a waterfall which could be wiped out by a hydroelectric dam development and a snowdrop found via Facebook.

'Discovering and describing new species is a truly exciting and vital scientific endeavour so we can better protect new species before they become extinct,' said Kew botanist Martin Cheek.

'It also helps us to understand their potential uses, and how they might provide the solutions to help us tackle some of the critical challenges facing humanity today.'

'This year's selection represents a range of new-to-science plants and fungi that are unique and characterful, yet threatened by human interventions and at risk of becoming extinct soon.'

This, Dr Cheek added, 'makes us both concerned and passionate about their protection.'

Click here for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew's top ten plant and fungi discoveries for 2019.

Source: dailymail.co.uk