Essential LEGO plant elements

LEGO plants have certainly changed over the years and you can now have an entire garden filled with different species. Here are some of the classics that show how these pieces have changed over time.

When it comes to LEGO bricks, it’s always fun to return to your roots. Whether you’re looking at the new plant elements made from sugarcane or the LEGO Group’s first few attempts at foliage, there’s truly a plant for every build, indoors or outdoors. All you must do is make sure they get plenty of sun! Or maybe don’t – that’s how faded or yellowed bricks happen.

Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, is counting down five great LEGO plant elements that fans have enjoyed through the years – from massive palm tree leaves to spruce trees – and discussing their iterations and parts history.

Spruce Tree

Spruce Tree, Small starts off this list. It first appeared in 6319 Trees and Fences, a LEGO Town accessories set that also included prickly bushes and a palm tree. Spruce Tree, Tall also debuted in the same set. This specialised piece really only has a few uses, though it would notably appear in 10314 Dried Flower Centrepiece to create a shrivelled flower. What this piece lacks in modern detailing it makes up for with a nostalgic design – it’s a piece 1990s LEGO fans and beyond recognise in an instant. Unfortunately, Spruce Tree, Tall was discontinued after the release of 10249 Winter Toy Shop.

Do you want a more detailed history of LEGO plant pieces? Then you need Issue 104 of Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, which goes right back to the beginning, when the trees didn’t even connect to studs!

Limb Element

Here’s another blast from the past, though these popular pieces aren’t going anywhere. Limb Element, Small was introduced in 6416 Poolside Paradise in 1992, while its larger cousin Limb Element would first appear in 6278 Enchanted Island and 6402 Sidewalk Café in 1994. These two plant elements are perfect for representing trees and moss. It’s a pliable piece, though it’s robust enough to hold up against play. The dark green colour, however, chips easily with heavy wear.

Prickly Bush

Some plants never change. This element is a bit of an anomaly, considering its sharp yet rounded points that give it its ‘prickly’ name. It debuted in 6319 Trees and Fences in 1993 just like the small spruce tree, though it appears in eight different colours across 152 sets so far. Like the spruce ree and prickly bush, this exact plant element is still used to this day. What gives it its ‘prickly’ name is its sheer number of hard spikes. Though rounded at the ends, they can still give you a pinch if you push down on them too hard!  

Upgrade your LEGO hobby! If you take out a subscription to Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, you’ll get each issue first and at a discount, plus other perks including a free digital subscription and the chance to win LEGO prizes every month.

Palm Leaves

In 1989, Palm Leaf, Large was introduced in early Pirates sets like 6270 Forbidden Island and 6276 Eldorado Fortress, though the element would go on to appear in 40 sets total. Its popularity continued to shine throughout the Pirates theme and beyond, last appearing in the beloved 5988 The Temple of Anubis in 1998 (excluding the LEGO Legends line, which re-released classic sets). Few elements evoke stronger images of classic LEGO Pirates, however, which is why we an updated version of the element was used in 10320 Eldorado Fortress in 2023.

Grass with Tube

The last piece requires a jump of nearly 30 years. Grass with tube is relatively new, first appearing in a handful of sets in 2015. It works well as tall jungle grass, a large plant stalk, or as reeds in a pond, though your imagination is the limit with LEGO bricks. Perhaps its most interesting parts usage is as the end of a bamboo shoot in the LEGO Insiders reward set 30641 Panda Bear.

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