April 19 – September 1, 2014
Meet Milo de Venus, voice of the Wicked Plants:
This new exhibit will introduce visitors to the evildoers lurking in their own backyards and beyond. Inspired by Amy Stewart’s best-selling book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother and other Botanical Atrocities, the exhibit gives visitors a hands-on experience with some of the world’s most diabolical botanicals—without the risk of intoxication, addiction, dismemberment, or other danger. Menacing interactive displays set in an eerie environment are designed to educate and entertain children and adults with information about some of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations.
Designed to educate the public and increase science literacy, Wicked Plants exposes plants associated with myriad negative health effects, including addiction, obesity, allergies, pain, poisoning, cognitive impairment, organ failure, and even death. Showcasing more than 100 plants, the exhibit takes an open- ended approach to health education, providing visitors with an opportunity to weigh the risks of utilizing specific wicked plants.
Visitors will step into a macabre world where plants hold the power. Poisonous, carnivorous, or just plain nasty, the diabolical botanicals represented throughout Wicked Plants are shown in all their fearful glory. Guests will be introduced to infamous plants that have left their mark on history and claimed many an unfortunate victim.
Upon entering a decrepit old home, guests will be introduced to the crime family of the plant world, the deadly Nightshades. A veritable rogue’s gallery features portraits of these intriguing characters who beguile unsuspecting victims. In the conservatory, weeds of mass destruction have taken over, while a crime scene in the potions laboratory teaches that things aren’t always what they seem, especially in the plant world.
A supper served in the dining room could be a visitor’s last. Guests will discover that even the most mundane foods can be poisonous under certain circumstances. The terrible toxicodendrons in the parlor can really get under a visitor’s skin. From poison ivy to poison arrows, the collection of weaponry in the hallway uses plant derivatives to immobilize and even kill prey.
The social misfits of the plant world are relegated to the bathroom. Visitors will find botanicals that smell foul and even some that catch fire. Plants in the yard are on the offensive: some secrete sap, some produce exploding fruit, and some have stems that embed into skin. Unruly and altogether mean, these plants are on the attack.
We are grateful to our sponsor: