Describe a useful plant you know about – IELTS Cue Card
In the IELTS Speaking section, one of the most common question types is the Cue Card Speaking prompt. The IELTS Cue Card topics will prompt you to formulate a response and speak on the given topic. To attempt this question, you must narrow down the essential questions on the given topic to answer within the given time. Consider the sample Cue Card below. Study the types of questions that have been formulated based on the cue card and how to go about with your response:
Describe a useful plant you know about.
You should say:
- what it is
- where it is available
- what it looks like
and explain how this plant is useful.
Sample Answer 1
Although we divide plants into various categories like functional and weeds, I believe very few plants created in nature do not have good use; we are just not aware of those uses. During my childhood days, I used to accompany my grandfather in gardening. He taught me various tricks and tips on gardening. Apart from the common plants, one plant that took my interest was the mint plant, or pudina, as it is called in India.
Regarded as ‘the world’s oldest medicine’, mint is a fast-growing, aromatic herb plant. There are literally hundreds of mint plant varieties that are grown in gardens like Peppermint, Spearmint, Ginger mint, Red Raripila mint, Basil mint and Watermint, to name a few. It is a perennial herb that practically grows itself, as minimal care is required for it and can grow anywhere. Earlier, each type was limited to certain countries. For example, peppermint was grown mainly in the USA, France, former USSR, Brazil, India, Japanese mint was produced by India, China, Brazil, etc. But now, varieties of mint is grown in different countries due to its easy growing conditions.
In the beginning, mint looks like a typical bushy clump of little toothed leaves with tiny pink, purple or white flowers. But, gradually, it begins to take over most of your garden space as it sprawls around with horizontal runners and underground rhizomes. This little plant is shallow-rooted and easy to pull out.
Apart from being a handy kitchen companion for its fragrance, mint is also used as air fresheners and herbal medicines. They are naturally high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Crushed leaves rubbed on the skin help comfort and calm the muscles and are also used to reduce irritable bowel syndrome, give relief against upset stomachs, and inhibit bacterial growth, treat fevers and various other ailments. It is rightly called the “Flavouring Queen” as it can add a refreshing taste to any dull dish or salad.
- Holy: sacred
Eg: The water of the Ganga is considered holy.
- Aroma: Scent
Eg: The aroma of lavender is used in perfumes and room fresheners.
- Headache: head pain
Eg: She could not work today due to her headache.
- Diabetes: a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high
Eg: My grandmother has diabetes.
Sample Answer 2
Medicinal plants used to be a whole chapter in our science books when we were in high school. So, I know a lot of medicinal plants, which I have read or heard about. Those are mainly neem, tulsi, sarpagandha, ashwagandha, aloe vera, sage, fenugreek etc. Each of the plants is of different medicinal importance. Some can be consumed directly, and others have to be taken with other herbs. Today I will be talking about one of the most essential and common plants, that is Tulsi.
Tulsi is widely present in all the regions of India. In some parts of the country, it is considered holy as well. Thus it has the name “holy basil.” It is grown in almost every Indian house. This plant does not need much care like other plants, but it should be given the basics.
The scientific name of Tulsi is Ocimum tenuiflorum. In English, we call it “holy basil” or just “basil”. The green leaves of the tree have a sharp aroma and flavour. You can easily chew it. Tulsi leaves are mainly oval in shape with curvy edges and slightly sharp tips.
The plant is of great importance. It helps to cure your stomach disorders and respiratory problems. Most of the cough syrup we use contains tulsi. It is said that two leaves of tulsi and one spoon of honey can cure your diseases and can keep you fit. It is also used in treating digestion, kidney stone, diabetes. It also assists in curing stress and headache. Ayurveda has been dependent on this plant for a long time now.