In 2019, the Missouri Botanical Garden made a case for more plantmoji, our term for plant emoji 🌱. As part of that push we submitted a proposal 📑 to create an official orchid emoji. We’re excited 🥳 to report our proposal has been recommended by the Emoji Subcommittee as a provisional candidate. There are still several rounds of approval ✅ needed, but if all goes well the orchid emoji could find its way to your smartphone as soon as 2021.
Meet the New Plantmoji
There will, however, be more plants at your fingertips 👆 later this year, thanks to the incoming class of emoji. Of the 117 emoji approved for 2020, five feature plants in some way. According to Emojipedia, the new plantmoji are bell pepper, blueberries, olive, wood, and potted plant.
Particularly exciting is the addition of the potted plant emoji, which is the first plantmoji to represent the idea of a houseplant. We expect this will be a big hit, especially given the rise of #plantfluencers on social media. As a botanical garden with a world-class Home Gardening Center, we’re pretty excited to use it too!
This mock-up of the new potted plant emoji is from Emojipedia, a site that documents and tracks emoji news. Each major platform, such as Apple, Twitter, and Microsoft, will design, encode, and release their own version of the potted plant and other emojis later this year.
Because emoji are often designed to broadly represent an idea, it’s hard to pin down a species, genus, or even plant family for the potted plant emoji. The same goes for the new wood emoji, which could come from any number of trees. There are, however, several new additions that increase the number of plant families represented by emoji.
Blueberry is the first emoji from the Ericaceae family, and the olive emoji adds new representation for the Oleaceae family. Bell pepper is the fifth member of the Solanaceae family to be immortalized as emoji, joining tomato, potato, eggplant, and chili pepper. Along with the garlic and onion (Amaryllidaceae) emoji added in 2019, there are now 27 plant families represented by emoji.
By the way, it’s not just the new plantmoji that have us excited. The 2020 class of emoji also includes several animals featured at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House—like the beetle and cockroach—along with a very important animal for soil health, the worm!
The Garden is working right now to submit new proposals to help expand biodiversity represented by emoji. The holiday spirit inspired us to create a recommendation for a holly emoji at the close of 2019. We have several other proposals in the works we hope to share later this year.
Cassidy Moody — Senior Digital Media Specialist