Surviving or Thriving: An exhibition on plants and us

A specially-curated exhibition about the state of the world’s plants and what this means for us, based on our pioneering annual science reports.

Surviving or Thriving exhibition at Wakehurst © Adomas Mockus

Date and time


Daily, 10am – 4pm


Millennium Seed Bank Atrium 


Included with entry to the gardens

We appreciate face coverings are no longer required by law, but please wear a face covering when indoors unless you are exempt and maintain social distancing. This is to protect yourself and others.

This exhibition brings Kew’s State of the World’s Plants reports to life.

Games, film, sound, models and a futuristic garden tell the story of why some plants are only surviving, while others are thriving.

Plants are in crisis – but it isn’t all bad. We’re still discovering 2,000 new species a year. Some may be edible, some may be medicinal, and this exhibition showcases many of the reasons why plants matter.

There are fascinating stories about the vital roles of fungi too – from a fungus that breaks down plastics to one which provides the ingredients to make Lego bricks.

Exhibition highlights include:

A garden in 2050 – plants that are likely to thrive in a hotter climate.

Sculptures of five trees from around the world – each facing a different challenge. 

Six one-minute films focusing on plant discoveries, DNA, fungi, crop wild relatives, Japanese knotweed and bananas…

An audio backdrop showing the dramatic change in birdsong in a Californian forest from 2004 and 2014.

Wakehurst’s Astrid Krumins, who managed the exhibition team, says:

“We warmly invite you to come and discover how plants are faring across the globe. The exhibition is full of thought-provoking, bite-sized information!”

Admission to the Surviving or Thriving exhibition is included with entry to Wakehurst.