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Plant Adaptations Up Close: A Biological and Artistic Interpretation
May1 - December, 2016
Church Exhibition Gallery, Lyman Plant House


First shown at the Botanic Garden in 2005, we’re bringing this exhibit back for an encore presentation. In the meanwhile, it has traveled to the new Jersey State Museum, the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Texas, the University of Northern Iowa Museums, and the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Michigan!

The Earth's diverse environments create many challenges for plant survival, and plants have evolved adaptations that allow them to thrive under hostile conditions. This exhibit explores these diverse adaptations, from clinging to rock cliffs to eating other plants.

EchevariaBiological explanations and artistic photography by Joan Wiener bring to life the resourcefulness and beauty of the plant kingdom. The viewer delves deep into a microscopic realm unseen by the naked eye. Imagine what an insect caught in a Venus flytrap might be seeing. Put on the 3-D glasses and enjoy!
See the online exhibit.

Commencement & Reunion Conservatory Exhibit:
Botanical Fragrance From Plants to Perfume
May 1 through May 31, 2016
Physiology House, Lyman Conservatory

Brugmansia 'Peaches and Cream'

Scent is an integral part of communities from around the world, from incense used in prayer to fragrant flowers offered as a sign of love, to the $30 billion perfume industry. The world of plants is central to this industry, supplying essential oils derived from flowers, barks and roots, supplying inspiration and imagery, and supplying molecules that can be manipulated into something new to the human nose. Perfumes available in the market are often a combination of different scents obtained from different plants, creating unique fragrances.

This exhibition focuses on the complexities of fragrance, featuring a collection of plants traditionally used in the perfumer's palette. We have tied each one to the distinct perfumes of French master, Serge Lutens.

Come visit the Lyman Conservatory for an exploration into this fascinating corner of botany and sample a fine French fragrance, Datura Noir.

Curated by Botanic Garden Intern Shabnam Kapur '16


Permanent Exhibit
Plant Life Through the Ages:
A Mural of Plant Evolution

Lyman Plant House, Palm House Corridor

Panel 6 - Age of Gymnosperms


The Botanic Garden is proud to unveil a new 60-foot mural, consisting of eight panels depicting great moments in plant evolution. While there are numerous depictions of animal evolution, until now there has been no mural devoted specifically to the evolution of plants. Seeing this opportunity, the Botanic Garden stepped in to commission a mural and fill the void.

The stunning paintings were created by muralist Robert Evans. With a specialty in natural history, ethnography, and history, his work can be found at the Smithsonian, Mount Vernon, and numerous museums, zoos, and aquaria. This is his first installation at a botanical garden.

To celebrate the opening of Plant Life Through the Ages, we have invited paleobotanist James W. Walker to speak about plant evolution and the mural.

The eight panels will permanently reside along the corridor to the Palm House.

Permanent installation of 178 different kinds of wood.
Lyman Plant House
See exhibit

Article about botanic garden exhibitions in Public Garden  
Smith College