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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A rare, parasitic, rootless and leafless plant, Rafflesia arnoldii has the largest known flower in the world.
Café marron is endemic to the island of Rodrigues, Mascarene Islands, where it is presently known from just a single wild individual.
Grown worldwide for its fleshy, edible taproot, radish is thought to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean region.
The yellow rattle may look pretty and innocent – but it is a vampire at heart.
More: Out of the ordinary
Red mangrove trees produce thickets of submerged stilt roots which form an important habitat for a variety of marine life, especially young fish.
Mangles' everlasting is an attractive ornamental, native to south-western Australia and introduced to Europe by Captain James Mangles.
Rhodochiton atrosanguineum is a delicate and beautiful Mexican climber with heart-shaped leaves that coil around any support.
A rapidly growing tree native to southeastern North America, black locust is loved by many as an elegant ornamental of parks and city streets.
Rodgersia pinnata is a large, spreading perennial with bold divided leaves, tall branching lower stems, and masses of small pink flowers.
In 2006 Kew botanists discovered several populations of pribby using data from specimens rescued from Montserrat’s volcano-damaged herbarium.
Flowers of the China rose can vary greatly in colour and may open red, creamy white, or unusually a beautiful pale pink that later becomes red. This hardy rose is renowned for darkening over time, whereas other species lighten after opening.
Rosa graciliflora is a pink- or red-flowered wild rose that is native to China; the solitary flower has a characteristic long and slender pedicel (stalk).
Roscoea capitata is a rare Nepalese plant with pink to purple flowers in a tight head held well above the leaves.
Roscoea purpurea is a vigorously growing plant with flowers in a wide variety of colours, usually purple, but also pink, white and rarely bright red.
The 'wonder-herb' rosemary has been used variously as a medicine, food preservative, stimulant, memory enhancer, and of course as a flavoursome cooking ingredient.
Restricted to the island of Mauritius, Roussea simplex is a critically endangered shrub or liana that is pollinated by a gecko.
Common sorrel is today used in sauces and as a spinach or salad leaf; the sap can be used as a laundry stain-remover.
The fungus Russula meleagris is always found in a mutually beneficial association with a tropical legume tree species, Gilbertiodendron dewevrei, and has a smell that has been described as resembling that of a public toilet!