27 July 2023
Which plant family matches your personality?
Are you an on-trend orchid or a spicy nightshade? Read on to find out.
There are more than 600 plant families, each of them unique. We've chosen some of our favourites so you can find your personality match.
Are you temperamental, generous, tough or eccentric?
You’re a cottage-core icon with a keen eye for beauty and a love for nurturing your friends and family.
Your pies are second to none, your garden is stunning, and you’re always ready with plasters, safety pins and snacks from your vintage floral bag.
Orchid personalities are trend hounds who love reinventing themselves.
There’s an orchid for almost every niche, from the leafless ghost orchids of the Florida swamps to orchids that imitate a female bee.
Your Instagram makes all your friends jealous, but no one minds because you make sure they all look great in your photos.
You might come across as high maintenance, but like many orchids you’re actually pretty chill: you just don’t like to be smothered.
Meet Kew’s orchid collection in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
The party don’t start ‘til you walk in.
Life would be pretty dull without nightshades, which include tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. But they can also cause allergies – and some of them are spicy, like the chilli, or toxic, like deadly nightshade.
You’ve got the funniest jokes, the best stories and the sharpest zingers. Sure, you’re a bit chaotic, but it’s worth it to be in your orbit. Everyone’s forgotten how they ever lived without you.
This family includes allspice, cloves and eucalyptus – whose leaves are highly flammable and will poison anything that isn’t a koala.
You might have a spicy temper, but you’re unfailingly loyal to those who stick with you.
You thrive under pressure: to you, a crisis is an opportunity to grow, like a eucalyptus sprouting after a bush fire.
Also, you’re probably Australian.
You're a sunny personality with bags of self-confidence. But there’s more to you than meets the eye...
Not many people know that a daisy flower is actually a group of tiny flowers clustered together. You may look like you’ve got it all figured out, but you’ve got hidden depths.
Oaks, beeches and chestnuts (Fagaceae)
These tall trees give food and shelter to whole communities of wildlife, as well as sheltering young saplings. In return, the tree's flowers are pollinated, seeds are spread far and wide, and pests are kept in check.
You like to do your bit: you buy second-hand, volunteer in your spare time and help your friends move house.
People look up to you, but you need your loved ones as much as they need you; they make sure you take breaks to sit back and watch the grass grow.
Tough and resilient, grasses roll with the punches of life. They can make the most of almost any environment, from deserts to wetlands to the Arctic.
Your truest admirers love to see you flourishing in a sunny meadow: not just surviving, but thriving.
You’re a night owl. Most plants ‘breathe in’ carbon dioxide and ‘breathe out’ oxygen during the day, as part of photosynthesis. The Crassulaceae family were the first plants observed to only ‘breathe’ at night.
They live in dry environments, so this means they don’t lose water by opening their pores in the daytime.
You’re at your best after the sun goes down and everyone is into your quirky aesthetic, like jade plants and houseleeks that decorate living rooms around the world.
You give the best birthday presents: jade plants are easy to propagate and hand out as gifts, which has earned them the nickname of ‘friendship trees’.
You’re an inventive genius. To survive in nutrient-poor soil, the Droseraceae family got creative and became carnivorous, catching insects for food.
From your perspective, you’re just doing what it takes to get by – but like a Venus flytrap, people find you fascinating. Don’t sell yourself short: your imagination means you can thrive where others can’t.
On the weekends you can be found pottering around, making tasty soup out of vegetable offcuts or turning old flip-flops into furniture.
Sphagnum moss (Sphagnaceae)
Sphagnaceae members march to the beat of their own drum. The only genus in its family, sphagnum moss can hold amazing amounts of water in its cells: up to 26 times its dry weight. As it spreads, it makes dry environments more habitable for other plants.
You’re a natural leader with a knack for finding the next big thing before anyone else. But you’re not trying to be a trendsetter: you aren’t really bothered about fitting in.
You’re also great at keeping secrets: as sphagnum moss builds up over time, it creates peat bogs which lock away carbon from our atmosphere and can also hide grisly discoveries.
You like the simple life.
The only living species in its family, Welwitschia mirabilis is a ‘living fossil’ thought to date back to the Jurassic period.
It only has two leaves and can live for up to 2000 years, surviving in the harsh Namib Desert by absorbing moisture from sea fog.
A traditionalist with well-stocked bookshelves, you prefer a long phone call or a letter over sending a text message. You’ve never seen the point of social media: why look at a photo of a plant when you could go outside and see a real one?
See our collection of unique desert plants at Kew Gardens in the Arid Collection.
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