IELTS Cue card: A plant that you find useful

Describe a plant that you find useful.
You should say:

  • Its name?
  • Where it is commonly grown?
  • What it looks like?
  • And explain why you find it useful.
Sample answer

I’m a nature lover. I have planted many different types of plants in my garden. All of them have their own special features. Today, I will talk about one plant which I think is highly beneficial.

The name of the plant is Aloe Vera. It’s a stem less or very short-stemmed succulent plant. The average height of the plant is around 60-100 cm. It has triangular, fleshy green leaves with serrated edges. These prickly leaves act as a defence against animals and insects.

There are different species of aloe vera and they are commonly found in most parts of the world. Aloe can grow indoors as well as outdoors. A certain amount of sunlight is essential for these plants to thrive.

I’ve read many reports about the health benefits of aloe vera. This plant is not only used in medicine but is also a vital ingredient in cosmetic products. It’s packed with antiviral and antibacterial properties which make it ideal for curing skin problems. My mother always uses aloe vera mixed with coconut oil to moisturize her hair before washing it, and I have to say, she’s nearly fifty years old but there are no signs of white, fragile or dry hair. It really is an incredible plant, and it’s so easy to grow too!

High level words and their meanings:

succulent: a plant in which the leaves and stem are thick and can store a lot of water,

serrated: having a row of sharp points along the edge,

 thrive: to grow, develop, or be successful, fragile: easily damaged, broken, or harmed

Another Similar Cue Card

Talk about a plant that you find useful.

  • What is the common name of the plant, mention scientific name if you know it?
  • Who informed you about the plant and where did you see it for the first time?
  • Which climate is suitable for its growth and where is it found?

And what are its uses and when did you use it last time?

SAMPLE ANSWER TWO-

We have several useful plants in our environment. Knowledge of botany enables us to know the species, botanical names and several utilities of the plants. For instance, roses are used for perfumery and decorations, primarily. Well, for this conversation, I would like to discuss the plant that goes by the common name of Neem. Fortunately, I can remember its botanical name too, as it is a common species. Azadirichta Indica is its botanical name and it’s a species of mahogany called Meliaceae.

My grandfather first made me see the plant in our patio. We had a big house with a large courtyard, where my grandfather used to pick a twig of neem to cleanse his mouth in the morning. I still remember him calling the name of tree aloud to me, when I was nearly 7 years old. I never forgot the name since then, although I read the botanical name later, out of my own curiosity.

Tropical climate with average rainfall is most conducive for its growth. It is a deciduous tree that sheds its leaves for a very brief period in autumn. It takes a few years for neem plant to grow into a full tree. Mostly, it is found in Indian subcontinent and few other tropical regions with average rainfall.

Neem tree has several uses because of its herbal and medicinal properties. As told by me earlier, its twigs are used for teeth cleaning and overall mouth cleansing. Its leaves and bark find applications in several herbal medicines for dermatitis and other disorders related to several organs like liver, stomach and heart. It is also used in naphtha balls. I used it last in my fields as fertilizer, as govt has recently come up with neem coated urea for its ecological friendliness.