CARLOS MAGDALENA

PLANT MESSIAH

“Forging your own path in life is very important. Embrace what you’re good at. You spend more time in life working than anything else — so you need to find happiness in that time.”

A senior horticulturist at London’s Kew Gardens, Carlos Magdalena describes his workplace as “a museum of living things”. With his sixth sense for breeding and saving dying plants, it’s here the world’s most varied and endangered species are brought together to create a Noah’s Ark of plant life in a bid to preserve their place on Earth.

After helping to save the world’s smallest water lily, which was almost declared extinct, Carlos is determined to save as many plant species from extinction as he can.

And with so many of our medicines and scientific advancements reliant on the biodiversity that makes this planet what it is, Carlos strives to reinforce that the survival of these plants isn’t just vital for wildlife, but for human life too.

Photography by Jody Daunton