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 – 5pm


Millennium Seed Bank Atrium 


Included with entry to the gardens

Please note there will be a one-way system in place to support government guidance on social distancing, and you will need to wear a face covering inside (unless you're unable to wear one).

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.