The Magic of Plants
The 4th Exhibition Gallery; The 1st Exhibition Gallery
February 5 - April 12; April 28 - June 14, 2015
Give me a land of boughs in leaf,
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land.
- A.E. Housman
Plants and animals have a very complicated and dependent relationship. Animals cannot survive without plants, and many species of plants would die out without the carbon dioxide and fertilizer that come from animals. In fact, animals eat food to get their energy while green plants make their own food in a process called photosynthesis. For all forms of life, plants form the basic food staples. It would therefore not be too great an exaggeration to say that all animals on the earth are parasites of plants. Besides, plants also provide animals with shelter, produce clothing material, medicines and paper products, reduce noise levels and wind speed, reduce water runoff and soil erosion…, and many more. However, plants are often seen as lifeless or inferior creatures compared to animals as spirit beings. Will grass get hurt when we walk all over it? Will it ask for help from its fellows? "The Magic of Plants" will give you the answer!
"The Magic of Plants" was a blockbuster exhibition organized and presented by the National Taiwan Museum last year. It did make a big hit in Taipei area. To impart awareness on plants to the public, "The Magic of Plants" is moved to Taichung-based National Museum of Natural Science, and will be on view from February 5 to June 14, 2015.
In the two parts of the exhibition - the survival of plants and the reproduction of plants - it highlights the unique survival aspects of plants and how they manage to survive using some truly unbelievable methods, introduces chloroplasts, and presents different capabilities plants have. Through its hands-on activities, inventive layout, and surprising information, the exhibition makes plants a vivid subject and turns the visit into a bizarre exercise. Visitors learn to care for and utilize plants, and learn about their magical properties, and what they are used for, just like students in "Harry Potter" went out to the greenhouse behind the castle to study Herbology.
To highlight the importance of plants and the role they play in perpetuating life on our planet, "The Magic of Plants" presents more than 100 plant specimens, including Rafflesia kerrii and Amorphophallus titanium, scientific models, videos, films, and drawings detailing plant activity, which enhance visitors' understanding about the magical world of plants.
Also, the story of the relationship between the Thynnid wasp and the Australian hammer orchid, which is a notable example of mimicry in plants, can augment an existing attraction by adding a big WOW factor for visitors.
"As we humans zip from place to place, plants rooted to the spot are often regarded still," said Museum Director Sun Wei-hsin. "Don't be deceived by appearances. Through time-lapse photography made by our staff at the Biology Department, you'll find that plants are on the move, and they even move exaggeratedly!" continued Sun, "Plants are essential to the balance of nature and in people's lives. Plants remain ready to work with us to transform our lives and our world if we approach them with an open heart and clear intention. As the leading institute of natural science and informal science education in Taiwan, the Museum has the responsibility to tell our public the truth of the nature." "I want to express my appreciation to National Taiwan Museum. You have conceived of and organized a great exhibition," Sun added.
Dr. Liu De-hsiang, the Museum's Head of Science Education Dept. said," The food chain begins with the Sun shining on plants. The plants use sunlight for energy to make food, so the plants are at the base of the food chain." "The exhibition presents different capabilities plants have, describing them as incredibly simple yet brilliant tricks and survival strategies. In real life the plants of Harry Potter are stranger than fiction itself," continued Liu. He made a conclusion with appreciation too, "We are honored to offer the opportunity for our public to explore the real magic of plants."
"The Magic of Plants" creates the wonder land of plants for visitors of all ages. Do not miss it!
- Exhibition Venus: the 4th gallery (2/5 - 4/12) & the 1st gallery (4/28 - 6/14)
- Accompanied Event: Crafts of Seeds & Fruits, 2/5 - 2/23, Conservatory
The Magic of Plants, which was organized by the National Taiwan Museum, is presented by the National Museum of Natural Science.