"Sex and Death: Orchids, Carnivorous Plants and Us" February 15, 2007Posted by theoxymoron in Australia, Travel.
Photography (left to right): Phalaenopsis Salu Spot x Dou-dii Rose (Paramount Orchids); Caularthron bicornutum & Paphiopedilum liemianum (Eric Hunt); Dionaea muscipula (Barry Rice)
See more pictures in my webalbum!
This was the title of an exhibition I went in the Botanic Gardens. The following text is from the official website. It describes the exhibition pretty well:
Stunning displays of orchids and carnivorous plants with humorous interpretation tell the story of fundamental evolutionary processes. The seduction of insects by plants, their unwitting co-operation and the cruel deception leading to inevitable death are played out using rare and unusual orchids and sinister carnivorous plants.
Botanic gardens are renowned for their peace and tranquillity yet as Sam Llewellyn wrote in his thriller The Sea Garden: ‘… in gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death … ‘
Soon after he started work at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Executive Director Dr Tim Entwisle educated us about ‘the nightlife of plants: sex and other perversions’ and, thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of The Gardens, the Botanic Gardens Trust is exploring fundamental biological processes once more in this exciting new exhibition.
‘Sex and Death: starring orchids and carnivorous plants’ tells the story of plant sex by exploring the fascinating pollination mechanisms of orchids, one of the largest and most complex families of plants. The concept of death is a great excuse for us to display our extensive nursery collection of bizarre-looking carnivorous plants.
The relationship between orchids and their pollinators (which, surprisingly to some people, includes humans!) is interpreted in three themes: ‘Seduction’, ‘Cooperation’ and ‘Deception’. The existing greenery in the Arc of the Sydney Tropical Centre creates the backdrop when over 2000 orchids from our nursery take centre stage as each of them comes into bloom. They are supported by a cast of hands-on interactives, video footage and colourful informative signage. The fourth theme, ‘Death’, predominately features carnivorous plants surrounded by dark and shadowy imagery.
‘Sex and Death’ is not a typical orchid show with masses of orchid hybrids creating a riot of colour. Instead it’s an entertaining and educational experience showcasing, at any one time, approximately 100 orchids and carnivorous plants including the lesser known and more diminutive varieties. Australian orchids and the Trust’s orchid research also feature strongly. Visitors are encouraged to come again and again to see the different species on display as they come into flower throughout the year.
The exhibition is planned to last for three years, and there will be something for everyone.
There are more pictures in my webalbum !