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 – 3:30pm


Millennium Seed Bank Atrium 


Included with entry to the gardens

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

  • 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
Informative panels and plants at Wakehurst

COP26 display

A specially-curated exhibition of plants illustrating their potential to provide nature-based solutions to climate change.