Blood-thirsty plants in the limelight at Adelaide Botanic Garden

10 January 2022

Man-eating plants and villainous flora are the focus of a new series of events at Adelaide Botanic Garden, as it celebrates Plants in Science Fiction this January.

These exciting events are part of the Garden’s Botanica Luminaprogram of after-dark events, encouraging people to visit and learn more about the role of botanic gardens.

Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium Director, Michael Harvey, said the entertaining, COVID-safe activities offer something for visitors of all age to enjoy this summer.

“We have been inspired by the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Day of the Triffids – introducing one of the most famous plant “villains” of sci-fi history. So this summer we are exploring otherworldly, villainous and dangerous plants,” said Mr Harvey.

“Brave young visitors can embark on a fun Spooky Plant Tour with Dr Mortimer Nightshade to learn about dangerous plants, while adults can enjoy an over-18s version.

“A screening of the musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors invites ticket-holders to watch Audrey, a carnivorous Venus fly trap, go on a blood-thirsty quest, while an audio-play of Jeff Wayne’s 1970s musical, War of the Worlds, will see patrons re-live their childhood memories as they hear how slimy red weeds take over the world in this popular, chilling story.

“And contemporary authors will take a closer look at John Wyndham’s hit novel, The Day of the Triffids, at a Writers SA anniversary event, delving into the story of killer plants in a post-apocalyptic world,” he said.

Also as part of the Plants in Science Fiction month, day time activities invites:

  • People to view a world-class collection of Titan arum plants on display. These endangered Indonesian plants are the subject of conservation efforts across the globe and grow extremely quickly in the leaf cycle phase of their lives. This year, our display features plants in their Leaf Cycle. When they are in their rare Flower Cycle, they produce the infamous ‘Corpse Flower’, so-called because of its rotten-flesh scent.
  • Visitors to explore the real plants behind popular stories - from mandrakes in the Harry Potter series to Wizard of Oz - in the new Plants, Poison and Pop Culture exhibition.
  • Teenagers to feed their imagination at a sci-fi writing workshop.
  • Visitors to see a pop-up Carnivorous Plant Display. Visitors can also purchase their own carnivorous plant at the Diggers Shop within the Garden.

Events run throughout January 2022. Costs vary from free to $25 per ticket.

For more information, visit

The Botanica Lumina program is supported by Major Partner, SA Power Networks.

All ticketed events are outside where social distancing between groups is mandatory. Masks are required for all events for people aged over 12 years. Patrons will be asked to use QR codes to check in to each event.

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