Traditions and beliefs
One of the world's most important staple crops and a major part in the diet of more than half the world’s population, rice also has many medicinal uses.
Well-known as a festive winter decoration, common holly is one of Britain's few native evergreen trees.
A densely branching evergreen that can live for centuries, the common yew is often found in British churchyards.
A vine native to Mexico and the USA, Cucurbita pepo has been domesticated for thousands of years and is the source of an astonishing variety of cultivated forms, including Halloween pumpkins, courgettes (zucchini)...
The 'wonder-herb' rosemary has been used variously as a medicine, food preservative, stimulant, memory enhancer, and of course as a flavoursome cooking ingredient.
The golden lotus banana is a small but stunning member of the banana family.
One of China and Japan's most popular plants, mume blossoms have long been a favourite subject in traditional East Asian art and poetry.
One of Europe's largest native deciduous trees, European ash provides tough, elastic timber that is widely used for furniture and also used to make tennis racquets and cricket stumps.
A small tree or shrub from Mexico and Guatemala, poinsettia is cultivated for its striking red bracts, and potted forms are the basis of a lucrative Christmas industry.
A woody climber native to Europe, common ivy has long been collected for winter decorations and is an important food-source for wildlife.