Spectacular Plants

Discover the world's most weird and wonderful plants!

We are very excited to be working with plant hunter and explorer, Stewart McPherson, to celebrate the release of his new book, Spectacular Plants and How to Grow Them.

On his travels all over the world, Stewart has climbed hundreds of mountains (some of which were previously unexplored) and has ventured to many of the most remote islands on Earth. During his adventures to study and document wildlife, history and cultures, he has discovered and co-named 35 new species and varieties of plants, and re-discovered many more that have been lost to science for centuries.

Once of the most interesting plants that Stewart co-discovered is a carnivorous plants that lives high in the Phillippine mountains. It is so large that is can trap rats as well as its normal diet of insects! Stewart and his co-explorer named this spectacular plant Nepenthes attenboroughii, after the inspirational natural historian and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough.

In order to share the incredible plants he’s found, Stewart has written a book, Spectacular Plants and How to Grow Them, to help everyone grow these amazing plants in their very own homes, gardens or classrooms. The book is aimed at 8-12 year olds, and introduces mind-boggling specimens such as sensitive plants that move suddenly when touched, flowers that look like tiny dancers, insect-eaters, stinky blooms, crazy coloured fruits and vegetables, and a begonia with more than a passing resemblance to Darth Vader!

During his recent travels, Stewart recorded a number of films about some of the spectacular plants featured in his book. We’ll be sharing these films each week and asking you to share pictures of your own #spectacularplants with us along the way.

Watch Stewart's Spectacular Plants films

During his recent travels, Stewart recorded 14 films about some of the spectacular plants featured in his book. We’ll be sharing these films each week via the link below.

Watch the Spectacular Plants films now.

Grow your own Spectacular Plants

In the video below, Stewart explains how you can grow Mimosa pudica, an amazing 'sensitive plant', on your windowsill at home or in school, in a DIY propagator made from a recycled plastic bottle. Share your pictures if you make one!

Hanson Boxes

10,000 lucky primary school across the UK will be receiving a free copy of Spectacular Plants and How to Grow Them this year as part of a box donated by the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation, to mark it's release.

If you don’t have a copy you can still enjoy discovering all kinds of spectacular plants!

Take a look at our Spectacular Plants around the World poster.

Make your own recycled propagator to grow some amazing seeds in.

Spectacular Plants and How to Grow Them is available to buy online.

Spectacular Plants at RHS Garden Wisley

To link in with our Spectacular Plants project, we're running a scarecrow competition for Campaign for School Gardening members around RHS Garden Wisley. We're inviting schools and youth groups to design a scarecrow on the theme of Spectacular Plant Discoveries.

Share your #spectacularplants

Have you discovered or grown a plant that you think is spectacular? Share a picture with @RHSSchools on Twitter, using #spectacularplants!

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Winner of the Drum Marketing Awards 2017
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Winner of the Third Sector 2017 awards