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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Elephant ear taro is a massive aroid with a spectacular cluster of upwardly pointing, arrow-shaped leaf blades which can reach one metre in length.
The titan arum is a giant among plants, with a massive flowering structure that rises some three metres above the ground. Its flowering is rare and unpredictable, and always grabs the headlines!
Pelican flower produces enormous trumpet-shaped flowers, which smell of rotting meat and attract flies and wasps as its pollinators.
Calvatia gigantea produces perhaps the largest fruitbody of any fungus, and is aptly referred to as the giant puffball. The unmistakeable fruitbodies, which appear in late summer and autumn, are often the size of footballs and sometimes much larger.
A star of many Western films, the iconic saguaro cactus is a spectacular feature of the Sonoran Desert in south western North America.
A yam from Southeast Asia, India and China, Dioscorea wallichii has edible tubers that can grow to over one metre long.
This flowering plant does not photosynthesise, but depends on fungi instead for survival.
Part of an ancient group of plants related to the ferns, this species eluded discovery until 2007, hence its Latin name eludens.
The aptly named ‘plantpot dapperling’ mushroom often provides a surprise when its brilliant yellow fruiting bodies spring suddenly but fleetingly from plant pots in the dead of winter.
Nymphaea thermarum is the smallest waterlily in the world, and the only Nymphaea to grow in damp mud rather than water.
A rare, parasitic, rootless and leafless plant, Rafflesia arnoldii has the largest known flower in the world.
Giant by name and giant by nature, this huge Californian conifer is by volume the largest tree in the world.
Large enough to be visible in satellite imagery, dimaka is an enormous ‘self-destructive’ palm that remained undetected by science until 2007.
The clock vine can reach up to 10 metres in length with hanging stems of stunning yellow and reddish-brown flowers.
Queen of the water lilies, this Amazonian giant has a remarkable life cycle.
Santa Cruz waterlily has strikingly beautiful lily pads up to two metres wide, with prickly undersides and wide, upturned rims.