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Photo of a waterlily

Plants that start with W

The most well-known plants and fungi, listed by their common names.
Scientific name: tradescantia zebrina
Wandering Jew, also known as spiderworts, is the common name given to several closely related plants commonly kept as houseplants. They come in both purple and plain green forms, and are very easy to grow. They take root easily and form new roots where the plant touches the ground. They can get invasive if they are left alone, and some people and pets like dogs can get allergic reactions to their sap.
Scientific name: family: nymphaeaceae
Water lilies are flowering plants that live in shallow water. They grow their roots in soil at the bottom of the water, and their leaves and flowers both float on top of the water.
Scientific name: citrullus lanatus
The watermelon is the fruit of a vine originally from South Africa. The fruit can be very big, and has a hard green rind with very juicy, sweet red flesh inside, full of black seeds. Watermelons are wonderful to eat fresh on a hot summer's day.
Photo of willow trees

Wis forWillow

Scientific name: salix alba
The willow is a deciduous tree that likes to grow in moist soil, and is often found on the banks of rivers. Willow bark has salicylic acid in it, which used to be used by primitive people to help with aches and pains. Today, salicylic acid is made into aspirin.
Photo of wisteria

Wis forWisteria

Scientific name: wisteria sinensis
Wisteria is a deciduous woody climbing vine, related to the pea. It grows big droopy bundles of purple flowers in spring. Wisteria is a very hardy plant and can tolerate dry conditions, frost and neglect.
Photo of wormwood foliage

Wis forWormwood

Scientific name: artemisia absinthium
Wormwood is a perennial shrub that grows to about 1 metre high. It has silvery grey leaves and small yellow flowers. It is native to parts of Asia and Africa. It grows well in drier climates and will tolerate poor soil. It is very easy to grow from hardened cuttings. Wormwood is an ingredient in the drink absinthe and is used to flavor some other drinks and some dishes.