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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Sugar is extracted from the sweet, juicy stems of sugar cane, and is used worldwide as a sweetener, preservative and in the cosmetics industry.
Golden weeping willow is an artificial hybrid of two willow cultivars, from which it has inherited a weeping habit and golden branches. It is widely grown as an ornamental, especially near water.
An evergreen shrub or tree from tropical Africa to Asia, toothbrush tree has a wide range of uses, including the chewing of its twigs to promote dental hygiene.
Beach salvia is a spreading shrub with rounded, greyish leaves and unusual orange-brown flowers.
For nearly 40 years it was thought that the Cayman sage was extinct, but after the distribution of 'Wanted' posters in 2007 it was rediscovered.
The elder, although a much-appreciated source of food and medicine, was once reviled as the tree from which Judas Iscariot supposedly hanged himself. However, since elder is not native to the Palestine region, this story is probably apocryphal.
Sarracenia purpurea is a fairly common, but nevertheless spectacular, carnivorous pitcher plant that grows in wetlands in eastern North America.
A distinctive plant from upland areas of Africa and Asia, voodoo lily has flowers that emit a smell resembling rotting meat.
Most saxifrage species are associated with spring and early summer, but the flowers of Burser’s saxifrage can be produced amid the snow, and during the bleak and dull weather of mid-winter.
A hardy spring bulb with attractive blue-violet flowers, spring squill is native to western Europe.
Marula is an African tree, the juicy fruits of which are highly prized by humans and other animals.
Skullcap is a common waterside plant found throughout the United Kingdom and the Northern Hemisphere.
Giant by name and giant by nature, this huge Californian conifer is by volume the largest tree in the world.
Fringed campion is a tall perennial with white, frilled flowers.
Autumn catchfly is a popular plant for a rock garden, flowering at a time when most other alpines are long finished.
Solanum phoxocarpum is a spiny African tree with bright yellow pointed fruits that may have medicinal properties.
More: Kew discoveries
A rare, African spiny aubergine, Solanum ruvu has been collected only once and is now likely to be extinct in the wild.
More: Kew discoveries
Potato is widely cultivated for its edible tubers, which are used to produce a variety of products including chips, crisps and vodka.
Cauliflower fungus grows parasitically on the roots of conifers, and can be recognised by its distinctive, whitish to pale buff, much-lobed fruitbodies, which have been considered to resemble a cauliflower.
The downy woundwort is rare in the UK, and so benefits from full protection under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.
More: Mint family
The spectacular and heavily scented tiger-spotted stanhopea has, as the name suggests, large flowers marked with distinctive purplish-brown streaks and stripes on a yellowish background.
A bold, architectural plant, the bird-of-paradise flower has been grown at Kew since 1773.
Strongylodon macrobotrys is commonly known as the jade vine, due to its striking blue-green flowers. The destruction of rainforests in the Philippines threatens this species in the wild.
The pagoda tree was introduced to Britain in 1753; Kew’s own specimen is believed to date back to 1760.
Balloon pea is a South African herbal remedy traditionally used for stomach problems, diabetes and lately as an important tonic to improve the overall health of cancer and HIV/AIDS patients.