Plant profiles

Delve into our collection of plant profiles and feed your fascination with a wealth of plant uses, fun facts, and Kew's valuable work.

Drosera venusta, a plant at Kew

Plant profile A - Z

  • Green, succulent aloe vera leaves with toothed edges

    Aloe vera

    From sunburn remedies to tonics that aid digestion, Aloe vera is one of the most used plants in the world.

    Read about Aloe vera
  • Red berries of Arabica coffee plant

    Arabica coffee

    Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) is the most widely used species of coffee in your morning brew.

    Read about arabica coffee
  • Short argan tree with wide spreading canopy

    Argan tree

    Argan oil is one of the best natural ingredients for your hair and skin; it comes from the seeds of the argan tree (Sideroxylon spinosum).

    Read about argan tree
  • Blue to indigo flowers with nodding heads

    Bluebell

    Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) bursting into bloom and carpeting woodland floors are a sure sign of spring.

    Read about bluebell
  • Cavendish bananas

    Cavendish banana

    There are over 1,000 banana varieties in the world, but the Cavendish banana (Musa acuminata ‘Dwarf Cavendish’) is the supermarket favourite.

    Read about Cavendish banana
  • Yellow flowers on an erect stem

    Cowslip

    Clusters of nodding cowslip (Primula veris) flowers are a sight to behold in British springtime.

    Read about cowslip
  • violet, two-lipped flowers

    Meadow clary

    The meadow clary’s (Salvia pratensis) striking blue flowers and wonderfully aromatic leaves are a flower-arrangers' favourite.

    Read about meadow clary
  • Purple pasqueflower with bright yellow centre

    Pasqueflower

    Dashes of purple pasqueflowers (Pulsatilla vulgaris) are one of the great wildflower spectacles.

    Read about pasqueflower
  • Open pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit that is spherical and red with deep red tissue surrounding seeds

    Pomegranate

    For thousands of years, the pomegranate (Punica granatum) has been celebrated by different cultures and civilizations around the world.

    Read about pomegranate
  • Toothed leaves and thistle-like orange flowers of safflower

    Safflower

    Once used as a cheap alternative to saffron, safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) is one of the oldest known cultivated crops.

    Read about safflower
  • Small, reddish-purple succulent with pink-rimmed, white flowers

    Shortleaf liveforever

    Shortleaf liveforever (Dudleya brevifolia) is a tiny succulent under serious threat from trampling by hikers.

    Read about shortleaf liveforever
  • Tea plant green leaves

    Tea plant

    Tea is the most popular beverage in the world aside from water; it is made from the hand-picked leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis).

    Read about tea plant
  • Staff member looking at Titan arum in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

    Titan arum

    Titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) is one of the smelliest plants on Earth; its foul stench of rotten flesh attracts pollinators from up to half a mile away.

    Read about titan arum
  • Greenish to yellow flowers of the vanilla orchid

    Vanilla

    One of the most popular flavours in the world, vanilla, comes from the dried and cured fruits of the orchid Vanilla planifolia.

    Read about vanilla
  • Venus flytraps with toothed-leaves that have a bright red centre

    Venus flytrap

    The venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) is a feisty, flesh-eating plant with jaw-like leaves that snap shut to trap and devour insects and spiders. 

    Read about venus flytrap
  • Miniature, red, fleshy 'fruit' of the wild strawberry

    Wild strawberry

    The wild strawberry (Fragaria vesca) produces miniature versions of the much-loved and commercially-produced juicy red ‘fruits’.

    Read about wild strawberry