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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Purple berkheya is the only mauve to purple flowered species in the genus, most of the others being yellow or in some cases white.
The birch-leaved bellflower is a large-flowered species found in north-east Turkey.
Yellow bellflower is unusual amongst the campanulas in having yellow flowers, and is considered rare in many alpine countries.
The cotton daisy is one of the more widespread species in the mountainous areas of New Zealand.
A low-growing perennial with beautiful, large, blue flowerheads, perennial cornflower is native to central and southern Europe.
The stunning pale blue flowers of the Turkish Crocus baytopiorum make it one of the most distinctive Crocus species.
The corms of Sieber’s crocus are edible, apparently tasting of hazelnuts, and are eaten raw by mountain shepherds in Greece.
Carthusian pink is an elegant, hardy, small-flowered Dianthus named in honour of the Carthusian order of monks.
The common snowdrop is one of the most popular of all cultivated bulbous plants, and its flowering is traditionally seen to herald the end of winter.
Galanthus panjutinii is an endangered snowdrop from Russia and Georgia.
A snowdrop with wide, green, shiny leaves, Galanthus woronowii is currently the subject of research into sustainable harvesting of bulbous plants.
Stemless gentian is a central European species and can be seen on the back of the Austrian € 0.01 (one euro cent) coin. It has also been chosen as the logo of the Alpine Garden Society.
Farrer’s geranium is described as one of the most delicate and charming of all geraniums.
The eye-catching sword lily adds beauty to sub-alpine landscapes and lakesides, especially in foggy weather, when only its pink flowers are visible.
Iris afghanica has been described as the finest plant introduction from Afghanistan, and the most superb of the regelia irises.
Iris variegata has striking bicoloured flowers and is the source of many of the most colourful bearded iris cultivars.
The spring snowflake is a popularly cultivated bulbous plant with delicate white flowers, and belongs to the same family as the snowdrops.
Bitterroot was first described as new to science in 1813 from specimens collected during one of the first western expeditions across the United States to the Pacific coast, but the species was already well-known and used by local Native Americans.
The white hoop petticoat daffodil is named after the characteristic shape of its flower.
Nerine humilis is a low-growing, pink-flowered bulb, found on rocky slopes in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape Provinces of South Africa, often flowering in huge numbers after veld fires.
Round-leaved restharrow is a beautiful, dwarf shrub with large, pink, red-veined pea-flowers and round, toothed, sticky leaflets.
The late autumn flowering tropical woodsorrel was introduced into cultivation in the 18th century, but is not widely grown due to its untidy habit and flowers that only open in the sun, which can be rare in November.
Oxalis massoniana is a clump-forming perennial with hairy stems, narrow leaves and bright orange flowers; it is named after the Scottish botanist Francis Masson.
Few hardy, herbaceous flowers are more spectacular than the oriental poppy, a perennial that has long been popular in cultivation.
The genome of the Japanese canopy plant contains 50 times more DNA than the human genome and is 15% larger than the previous record holders (the marbled lungfish and a trillium).
This mat-forming perennial with smooth leaves and spikes of small pink or red flowers was once admired in the Himalaya by Sir Joseph Hooker, one of Kew’s early directors.
Primula beesiana is a popularly cultivated hardy perennial producing tiers of purple-red flowers in summer, and is especially dramatic when grown en masse.
Primula bulleyana is a candelabra primula from China with rich golden yellow-orange flowers.
The drumstick primula is the most common Himalayan primula in the wild and is very popular in cultivation.
An attractive perennial with elegant yellow flowers, Primula verticillata is native to north-east Africa and south-west Arabia, and is one of the parents of the Kew primrose (‘P. kewensis’).
Primula vialii is a striking perennial, with unusual spikes of pinkish flowers, tipped with red.
Rodgersia pinnata is a large, spreading perennial with bold divided leaves, tall branching lower stems, and masses of small pink flowers.
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.
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.
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.
Chilean blue crocus has brilliant blue flowers, and was thought for many years to be extinct in the wild.
Mitnan is a yellow-flowered desert shrub, the leaves of which are used in traditional medicine and the branches and bark are woven to make strong rope.
Snow trillium is one of the earliest alpine plants to bloom in spring and often flowers as the snow melts around it.
Three-coloured Indian cress is a delicate, colourful climber with thread-like stems and small, bright red, purple and yellow, long-spurred flowers.
Extinct in the wild, Tulipa sprengeri is a late-flowering, bright-red tulip with small flowers and shiny green leaves.
Vallea stipularis is a beautiful, evergreen, South American shrub with masses of pinkish-red or crimson, bell-shaped flowers.
Shrubby mullein is found only among the ruins of the ancient city of Termessus in Antalya, southern Turkey.
A popular bedding plant with a light fragrance, horned pansy is native to the Pyrenees.