Plant collections

Plants are amazing! They clothe us, feed us, cure us and keep us warm and sheltered. They are beautiful and terrifying, grow in deserts and tundra, land and lakes and have been on the earth for many millions of years before us.

Visit our unique plant collections and glasshouses. With over 4,500 species of plants, our beautiful displays are designed to tell the story of plant evolution.

Plant collections

Our plant collections provide a unique teaching, research and conservational resource. Each display is designed to be attractive and educational.

Evolution collection

Five displays tell the story of plant evolution. Discover prehistoric plants dating back 200 million years. See how plants have developed adaptations and strategies to survive.

Local flora and rare native collection

A series of mini West Country habitats. Home to some of the South West’s rare and threatened native flora. This collection is part of our commitment to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation.

Mediterranean collection

Explore vibrant displays from Europe and North Africa, South Africa, Australia, Chile and California. See how plants have developed similar adaptations to long, hot, dry summers.

Useful plants collection

Food and medicine displays showing our relationship with useful plants. Home to the largest collection of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs in the UK.


The 640m² glasshouse is divided into four climatic zones is home to plants from all our plant collections. There is a wealth of plant diversity and plants can be seen flowering at any time of year. 

Tropical zone

Discover tropical plants that thrive in warmer climates. Home to our Giant Amazon Water Lily, carnivorous plants, and the most comprehensive collection of Chinese sacred lotus in the UK.

Sub tropical zone

A warm and humid mountain forest display. You will find sweet scented plants and a diverse collection of orchids, bromeliads and ancient cycads.

Warm temperate zone

Attractive and striking colourful display. You will also find our Venus fly trap and our collection of stem and leaf succulents.