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Discover plants and fungi

Photo of Amanita muscaria
Amanita muscaria (Photo: Geoffrey Kibby)

Kew's scientists work across the globe to discover, describe and conserve plants and fungi ensuring the sustainability of the multiple ecosystem services they provide for human well-being.

These include the role of plants and fungi in regulating services, such as carbon cycling or water regulation, provisioning services, including food, fuel and medicine, and cultural services.

Use these pages to explore the fascinating world of plants and fungi, browse more than 400 species profiles, find out more about plants that are useful to humans and read about Kew's valuable work.

Search plants and fungi by name

Useful plants: vanilla

Vanilla planifolia is the source of vanilla, one of the most popular flavours in the world, and weight for weight, one of the most valuable spice crops.

Illustration of Vanilla planifolia

It is a tropical vine which can reach a length of over 30 metres and has thick, fleshy stems with greenish flowers that open early in the morning. Besides being used as a flavouring, vanilla is also among the most important ingredients in perfumery.

Read about Vanilla planifolia

Resources and databases

Photo of Passiflora x Kewensis

Search for a plant name or browse our specialist resources, packed with information and data about plants and fungi.

The Plant List - check a plant name 

eMonocots - a global resource for monocotyledons

Legumes of the World

Medicinal Plant Names Services Portal

More resources and databases from Kew

Adopt a seed

Dimorphotheca nudicaulis seeds

Help Kew's Millennium Seed Bank protect the future of the world's plants by adopting a seed for as little as £25.

Kew’s Teas, Tonics and Tipples

A lovely book with botanically-inspired recipes from the royal households at Kew, Mrs Beeton and many more.

More from Kew

Fungi Kingdom

Amanita muscaria Fly Agaric

Discover the diversity and importance of fungi.

Millennium Seed Bank

Photo of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank

Find out more about our vital work saving seeds.

People & data

Montage of scientific activity

Kew's science teams, databases and publications.

Species browser

Photo of Capsicum annuum fruits

Explore Kew's plant & fungi profiles.