Plants & Fungi A - Z
Explore our profiles of plants and fungi.
These illustrated profiles contain a wealth of facts, including details on conservation, uses and habitats – as well as Kew’s connections with the species. They have been chosen to inspire interest in plants, detail our science and conservation work and showcase star plants in the Gardens.
This is a constantly growing resource with new profiles added every week - so do be sure to check back regularly.
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Northern marsh orchid is a European species with vivid purple-violet flowers.
An endangered tree from northeast Madagascar, Dalbergia andapensis is threatened by local deforestation.
Daniellia alsteeniana is one of the most charismatic and conspicuous trees in the woodlands and dry forests of northeastern Angola, where Kew is documenting species diversity to help build a case for conservation of this unique region.
Wild carrot has delicate white flower heads and a thin, wiry taproot bearing little resemblance to the fleshy, bright orange root vegetable produced commercially.
Native to China, handkerchief tree was once considered to be the Holy Grail of exotic flora, and seeds were first sent to England by the legendary botanist Ernest Wilson in 1901.
Delonix decaryi, a tree with a cigar-shaped trunk, is found in the dry spiny forest of Madagascar, and sometimes planted as a living fence.
Although widely cultivated in the tropics since the 19th century, the native habitat of flamboyant was unknown to science until the 1930s, when it was rediscovered growing in the wild in Madagascar.
The proper scientific name of this commonly cultivated, tropical Asian orchid – most frequently known as Dendrobium aphyllum – is surrounded by much confusion.
A large-flowered orchid from the forests of northeastern India and northern Burma, Lady Benson’s dendrobium is cultivated by orchid enthusiasts.
Dendrobium daklakense is a showy, attractive Vietnamese orchid that has evaded discovery until very recently.
The dependable noble dendrobium is one of the most popular epiphytic orchids in cultivation.
Tufted hair-grass is a large, tussock-forming grass, once used to form the roof of one of the oldest thatched cottages in England.
Carthusian pink is an elegant, hardy, small-flowered Dianthus named in honour of the Carthusian order of monks.
Australian tree fern is a handsome plant native to south-eastern Australia, where it grows in fertile, high-rainfall areas and moist, sheltered gullies.
A popular ornamental, with tall spires of tapered, tubular, purple to pink or white flowers, common foxglove is also a source of digitoxin, used in the heart drug digitalis.
The Venus flytrap “eats” insects and sometimes even small frogs that become trapped in its modified, toothed leaves; if the prey struggles, the trap will close even tighter.
Bako, only recently discovered and described, symbolises the importance of wild yams and their biodiversity to the Malagasy people.
Elephant's foot yam is a spectacular shrubby climber from South Africa, which is threatened due to over-collection.
More: Kew discoveries
Dioscorea orangeana is a newly described, threatened species of edible yam from northern Madagascar.
Dioscorea strydomiana is a recently discovered yam from South Africa. It is critically endangered and one of the most unusual yam species anywhere in the world.
A yam from Southeast Asia, India and China, Dioscorea wallichii has edible tubers that can grow to over one metre long.
A highly variable, extremely widespread plant with numerous medicinal uses, hopbush is known by over fifty different common names.
Doronicum orientale is an early-flowering, lemon-yellow daisy, with a single flowerhead on an upright stem, and soft, rounded leaves.
Dracaena jayniana is an endangered dragon tree from Thailand, the dried red sap of which is used to make a tonic drink.
Only recently placed in a genus of its own, the Latin name of this palm honours a Kew botanist and palm expert.
In late summer and autumn, the tall flowering spikes of the maritime squill are a conspicuous feature of dry, barren hillsides in coastal areas around the Mediterranean.
A beautiful new species of palm discovered by Kew botanists in Madagascar’s newest protected area.
This dwarf palm from Madagascar is threatened by forest destruction. It is only known from three sites, and fewer than fifty Dypsis brevicaulis plants have been found in the wild.
A clustering palm, with leaflets that look as though they have been ‘nibbled’, Dypsis gronophyllum is known only from the Vondrozo area of south-east Madagascar.
A highly threatened new species of stemless palm discovered by Kew botanists on the edge of Madagascar’s newest protected area.