Plants and fungi

We need plants and fungi for our very existence. They clean the air that we breathe and provide us with food, materials and medicine. Explore the influence plants have had on society and the impact humans are having on plant life.

  • Cowslips, Primula veris, in the wildlife garden at the Museum
    Plant identification forum

    Post your photos here and ask questions about British plants, from seaweeds to sundews and bluebells to bracken. Museum experts will help identify them for you.

  • Fungi growing in the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden, Marasmius species
    Fungi: undervalued jewels of the urban jungle

    Museum fungi expert Mark Spencer reveals striking examples of fungi that flourish in towns and cities.

  • Cycads are one of the world's most threatened plant groups
    Plants under pressure (video)

    A shocking one-in-five plants in the world risk extinction. Explore Museum research that reveals the extinction hotspots.

  • Trees in Edinburgh
    Urban tree survey

    Help us learn what trees are growing where in the UK by telling us about the ones in your garden and neighbourhood.

  • Bladder wrack, Fucus vesiculosus
    Big Seaweed Search

    Take a walk along the coast and help us monitor the effects of climate change and invasive species on the UK's seaweeds.

  • Exploring British Wildlife: Bluebells
    Exploring British Wildlife: Bluebells

    Find out about Britain's favourite flower. Is our native bluebell species threatened by breeding with non-native bluebells? Find out what the results of the Museum's annual bluebell survey show.

  • Bee orchid, Ophrys apifera
    Bee orchids and insect mimicry (video)

    Watch our video about the deceitful bee orchid and discover the impressive strategies some plants have evolved to encourage insects to pollinate them.

  • Golden shield lichen, Xanthoria parientina, a common lichen.
    Lichens

    Explore the amazing diversity of lichens and find out why they are the canaries of the fungal world.

  • Xanthoria parietina, golden shield lichen
    Lichens and air pollution

    Watch the video to find out what the golden shield lichen, and others, can tell us about the air quality in our local areas.

  • The lichen Xanthoria parietina
    A guide to lichens on twigs

    Use this interactive guide to help you identify lichens on twigs in your local area. Lichens are very sensitive to pollution so they are a good guide to the health of the environment where you live.

  • Brixton market
    Roots and Herbs - Exploring Jamaica's plant heritage

    Discover how Jamaican plants were used in Sloane's time and compare their modern day uses. Can you help us find out more about them?

  • Country cures
    Country cures

    Plants have been used to treat illnesses and ailments for centuries. Pass on the knowledge and let us know your herbal remedies.

  • Seeds of trade
    Seeds of trade

    People rely on plants for far more than foodstuffs. Explore the fascinating history of cultivation and its impacts on society today.

  • Trees: Magnificent structures
    Trees: Magnificent structures

    How have trees managed to evolve into 80,000 species, from tiny arctic willows to giant redwoods? Discover the secrets of their success.

  • Petunia hybrida
    The solanaceae as food: A natural history of the potato family

    Explore the incredible diversity of this amazing plant family, including potatoes, tomatoes and a host of other important fruit crops.

  • Mounting a plant on to paper
    Plant mounting

    The Museum cares for over 6 million plant specimens. Watch this video to find out about the process of mounting plant specimens for inclusion in the Museum’s collections.

  • Specie of Actinoptychus
    Diatom specimens

    Zoom in on stunning magnified images of diatoms.