Home Time Sensitive Wicked Plants at the SF Conservatory of Flowers, 4/7-10/30

Wicked Plants at the SF Conservatory of Flowers, 4/7-10/30

by TerriAnn

It’s time for the new exhibit at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. Starting tomorrow (4/7) and running through the end of October, you will be able to see nature’s most infamous plants in Wicked Plants. This exhibit is based on the book by Amy Stewart, “Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities”, and is sure to give you goosebumps.

It’s mayhem under glass, as the Conservatory transforms its Special Exhibits Gallery into a wonderfully eerie Victorian garden full of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. Building on the fascinating plant portraits in Stewart’s book, the Conservatory introduces visitors to living examples of dozens of infamous plants that have left their mark on history and claimed many an unfortunate victim. It¹s a who¹s who of botanical rogues and assassins. Meet them if you dare!

While informative and beautiful, this particular exhibit is recommended for those 10 years old and up. If you borrow the book that this exhibit is based on, you could make a fantastic botanical and historical unit study. See below for examples of this exciting exhibit and jot it down in your spring/summer ‘to do’ list.

Photo credit: Nina SazevichPhoto credit: Nina SazevichPhoto credit: Nina Sazevich
Photo credit: Nina Sazevich

The first: Wicked 1 — In the foreground is an example of castor bean from which ricin is derived implicated in the 1978 umbrella murder of Communist defector Georgi Markov. Morning glory, a plant that can cause LSD-like hallucinations, grows up the gazebo frame.

The second: Wicked 6 — a type of Euphorbia known as crown of thorns — we have an arid garden in the exhibit that features many varieties of these plants … Euphorbias have an irritating milky latex sap that is poisonous and can burn the skin and eyes or worse if ingested.

The third: Wicked 9 — a fun, wicked shot of white snakeroot in the cage. (White snakeroot is “the weed that killed Lincoln’s mother” referred to in the subtitle of Amy Stewart’s book that inspired the show)

Photo credit: Nina Sazevich
Photo credit: Nina Sazevich

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blueviolet @ A Nut in a Nutshell April 7, 2011 - 4:50 pm

Now THAT sounds like a really interesting exhibit!

Cookies & Clogs April 7, 2011 - 5:21 pm

I think I’d be too scared 😛

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