The Darker Side of Plants -Toxic Trees, Poisonous Perennials & Wicked Weeds

The Darker Side of Plants -Toxic Trees, Poisonous Perennials & Wicked Weeds

This event has finished Took place on: Tuesday, 11th May 2021

 £5

Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

This talk is the first in our series of 8 online talks on the darker aspects of plants.

This new series of talks explores the Darker Side of Plants – the marvels, mysteries, and murderous nature of the plant world - from fact to fantasy and fiction.

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Plants contain powerful and dangerous poisons which have been used for millennia for deadly purposes. In fact, many of the garden plants we commonly grow are poisonous or toxic in some way. Gardeners are, usually, far more concerned about accidental poisoning or adverse reactions. Alison will reveal the chemistry behind the toxic nature of a range of common garden plants, what is present in them and which parts are particularly poisonous. With a little knowledge and common sense, you can decide what definitely to avoid, and what to grow safely to enjoy their aesthetic. You may not be surprised at some of the plants, but Alison may reveal some which will cause an eyebrow or two to be raised!

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After her PhD in Chemistry and working 8 years in the pharmaceutical Industry, Alison’s passion for plants finally got the better of her. She retrained as a horticulturist and then joined the University of Oxford Botanic Garden ultimately becoming Acting Director. Her aim was to bring science into the garden with a particular focus on chemistry and medicinal plants. She combines her client work in practical horticulture and consultancy with teaching Botanical Foundations of Ethnobotany at the University of Kent and spreading the word about the importance of plants and chemistry as far and wide as possible. She recently developed a new science garden for The Society of Chemical Industry in Belgrave Square, London and interpretation content for the Temperate House at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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Plants are full of surprises - they live in a parallel world to ours and have many hidden and strange facets. This series of talks uncovers plants for what they really can be - toxic, dangerous yet attractive, users of entrapment and carnivory, enticing and exotic yet not above using chemical warfare to defend their patch and themselves. Humans use them for healing and to deal out death, but also to help solve mysteries and as sources of creative (but dark) inspiration. Take a journey with us looking at specific aspects of plants: their chemicals, unusual lifestyles and interactions; and how we use (and have misused) them to discover new drugs, solve crimes, heal, commit murder and weave them into deadly gardens and fiction.

Our speakers are diverse, expert and passionate about their subject. They include a renowned and talented biologist who searches the world for plants that kill; trained chemists who have been won over by the world of plants and their mysterious secrets (and write award winning books); an internationally respected botanist who solves crimes using plants, and an author and international garden historian.


Contact and Booking Details

This event has finished Took place on: Tuesday, 11th May 2021

 £5

Booking details and information at this website.

Reserve tickets at this website

2021-05-11 2021-05-11 Europe/London The Darker Side of Plants -Toxic Trees, Poisonous Perennials & Wicked Weeds With a little knowledge and common sense, you can decide what definitely to avoid, and what to grow safely to enjoy their aesthetic. https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2021/05/11/the-darker-side-of-plants-toxic-trees-poisonous-perennials-wicked-weeds-254849 ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

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