Plants that start with P

List of Plants that start with P

The most well-known plants and fungi, listed by their common names.

Scientific name: family: arecaceae

There are many, many different kinds of palm tree. Most have one long trunk with a tuft of fronded leaves at the top. Some branch into a few stems. Palm trees usually grow in warm, wet areas of the world but are also found in deserts. They are not found in really cold places.
Some kinds of palm tree grow fruit that people eat, like the coconut palm and the date palm.

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Papyrus

Photo of papyrus plants
Photo by Ian W Scot
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Scientific name: cyperus papyrus

Papyrus is an Egyptian plant commonly found growing around waterways. It was used for many things, the most famous being for a type of cheap paper. Papyrus leaves and stems were also used to make baskets, mattresses, and boats.

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Parsley

Scientific name: Curly leaf: petroselinum crispum, Flat leaf: petroselinum neapolitanum

Parsley is a herb, which means it is not eaten as a food on its own, but it is added to other dishes for flavour. Parsley is used mostly as a garnish, cut up and sprinkled onto food to make it look nicer. You often find a sprig of parsley being used to decorate food from a restaurant.

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Parsnip

Scientific name: pastinaca sativa

The parsnip is an edible root vegetable related to the carrot. It is paler than the carrot, being almost white not bright orange, and has a stronger flavour and is not so crisp.
Like carrots, parsnips can be roasted or fried but are most often used in soups and stews.

Photo of passionfruit
Photo by Jan Smith
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Scientific name: passiflora edulis

Passionfruits are a small, tropical vine. The fruit itself is hard, and either yellow or almost black. The part of the passionfruit that you eat is the seeds and the flesh around the seeds. You cut the fruit in half and scrape the seeds out.
Passionfruit is added to pies, desserts, fruit salad and some drinks.

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Pea

Photo of peas
Photo by Lee Jordan
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Scientific name: pisum sativum

The pea is the seed of the pea plant. It is eaten for food. With most kinds of pea, you remove the case the peas come in (the pod) before you eat them. Peas are in the same family as beans.

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Peach

Photo of peaches
Photo by Foodista
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Scientific name: prunus persica

Peaches are a large, pale orange fruit related to plums, apricots and cherries. The outside of the peach fruit is covered in fine fuzz, which some people don't like. A fuzzless peach is called a nectarine. Peaches are usually eaten fresh or preserved in jars or tins.

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Pear

Photo of a pear
Photo by Breahn Foster
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Scientific name: pyrus communis

The pear is the fruit of the pear tree. Pear trees are small deciduous trees growing to around 5-12 metres high. Pears may be green or yellow. Pears are closely related to apples but are softer, juicier and a different shape. You can eat all of the pear except the core in the middle, which is full of seeds.

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Pecan

Scientific name: carya illinoinensis

Pecans are the fruit of a kind of hickory tree, native to North America and Mexico. They have a rich taste, and are most commonly used in sweets and desserts.

Photo of persimmon trees
Photo by Sandy Austin
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Scientific name: diospyros kaki

Persimmons are an orange fruit with a sweet, tangy flavour. The variety most commonly grown is native to China. They must be completely ripe before they can be eaten, as the immature fruit is very bitter. They can be eaten fresh, dried, or used to make foods like desserts or even fermented to make vinegar.
The main variety now grown commercially and in home gardens in New Zealand is Fuyu. This is a non-astringent variety and is best eaten while it is still crisp - like an apple.

And also ...

Pepper tree, Poplar, Protea.