Why are plants important?

Plants have a critical role in our ecosystems providing air and food that is essential to the survival of humans and other species.

Plants and the products derived from them, such as food, fuel, fibres and building materials have huge economic importance to humans. Many medicinal products are also derived from plants such as Taxol, a chemotherapy drug that is produced from the Endangered tree Taxus contorta.

The ability of plants to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen is critical to human survival. Plants also cycle water and their roots hold soil together helping to prevent devastating landslides and coastal erosion. Life as we know it would not continue without plants and their conservation is essential.

Arum lilies growing wild on Robben Island

Latest Plant News

See more news


Follow us

Facebook Flickr Twitter Youtube

search for species
  • IUCN Red List Logo
Support the Red List 50 campaign
  • Donate to IUCN Red List
The Latest Amazing Species