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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When Charles Darwin was sent a specimen of the Madagascan Christmas star orchid in 1862, he predicted that since the nectar was at the bottom of the long flower spur, a pollinator must exist with a tongue as long as the spur - 41 years later, such a moth was discovered.
Bulbophyllum macranthum is an epiphytic orchid from southeast Asia, with long, creeping rhizomes and large, sweetly-scented, fly-pollinated flowers.
Bulbophyllum nocturnum was recently discovered on the island of New Britain (part of Papua New Guinea) and is the first known orchid with flowers that consistently open at night and close during the day.
The large-flowered Cymbidium hookerianum was named in honour of Sir Joseph Hooker, the second Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The lady's slipper orchid is one of the best known and most widely illustrated of all flowering plants.
Northern marsh orchid is a European species with vivid purple-violet flowers.
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.
In 2006, Kew conservationists rescued several plants of the endangered Montserrat orchid from dead trees on the volcano-ravaged island of Montserrat and installed them in the security of the island’s botanic garden.
A vigorous terrestrial orchid with bright orange and yellow flowers, Epidendrum radicans is grown as an ornamental and for cut flowers.
An orchid endangered in the UK, the burnt-tip orchid gets its common name from the burnt appearance of its flowers when in bud.
The striking flowers of the bee orchid resemble a bee, resting on a pink flower.
Ophrys speculum is a Mediterranean orchid that is pollinated exclusively by a single species of wasp.
Ornithochilus cacharensis is a Critically Endangered orchid, which was recently discovered in Cachar, Assam (India).
The endangered golden slipper orchid is highly prized as an ornamental.
The moth orchid was one of the first orchids to be described from the Far East and its hybrids are now popular as houseplants.
The cockleshell orchid is the National Flower of Belize, where it is known to residents as the black orchid.
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.
The stunning blue vanda is responsible for the dramatic blues and purples seen in many cultivated vanda orchids.