Plants in Pop Culture

Plants in popular culture are nothing new; meet some of the favorites.

By: Lively Root
October 30, 2019
Monstera Leaf Pattern Lively Root
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You might not realize it but you could be living with a celebrity. That’s right, some of yours (and ours!) favorite plants have made a lot of cameos in pop-culture throughout the years and we thought maybe they should get a little credit for all their hard work?

After all, there are no small parts, only small plants ….is that how it goes?


  • Salix Babylonica
  • Weeping Willow

Grandmother Willow plays an important role in Disney’s 1995 animated film, encouraging Pocahontas to follow the right path and we aren’t surprised this beautiful tree has such a strong influence. Though not all forms of this cultivar have giant faces and give advice, most weeping willows are a fun, whimsical addition to your green space. Best sited in partial shade with medium to wet soil, they’re fairly versatile and quite hardy. With a large canopy and protective weeping branches, they make excellent playhouses and perfect spots for a little bit of everyday magic.

Joshua Tree by U2

  • Yucca Brevifolia
  • Joshua Tree

28 years old and still going strong, the yucca might be why. U2’s ode to America portrays wide-open spaces, paying homage to the American west, with the Joshua Tree at its forefront (and on its cover). As one of the largest living things spotted in the desert, Yucca Brevifolia is indigenous to the South West and its name actually comes from it looking as though its branches are lifting toward heaven, like the arms of Joshua from the Old Testament. It’s best to plant these in California, Nevada, Utah, or New Mexico if you’re looking to add to your native landscaping.

The Wizard of Oz

  • Papaver Somniferum
  • Poppy Flower

Featured in the book, movie, and musical, the poppy scene is a forever favorite among fans. In The Wizard of Oz, the poppy field knocks Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion out with their potent fragrance and deadly charms. Interesting, there are a lot of varieties of poppies (from Californian to Icelandic) and they come in a breadth of colors and sizes, all ready to add a pop of color and a bit of movement to your garden.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

  • Solaum Lycopersicum
  • Tomato

In this seventies “thriller,” your common garden tomato takes a turn toward the dark side as flesh-eating killers. We wouldn’t be too worried, though, because unlike the Venus Fly Trap, tomatoes aren’t carnivorous and are far more likely to be eaten by you than you by them. However, there were a couple sequels so who really knows?

Harry Potter

  • Sorbus Aucuparia
  • Rowan Trees

Everyone’s favorite boy wizard got a wand made from the Rowan tree, the European Mountain Ash (among others) was known among Celtics to have magical powers. Wands made from these trees were often used to help with livestock fertility and harvest rituals. In addition to their wood, Rowan trees also offer a fruit commonly used in jam and alcoholic drink.

Did you like this article? Read about Sustainable Gifting with a Money Tree here.