View all news

Delve into the weird and wonderful plant kingdom

A bee hovering by a gladiolus Petr Jan Juracka, Charles University, Prague

Press release issued: 14 May 2014

What is the biggest flower in the world, why are some plants carnivorous or how does an orchid trick its pollinators? These questions and many more will be answered this Sunday [May 18] when the University of Bristol Botanic Garden has a special display of plants for Fascination of Plants Day.

Members of the public will be able to explore the hidden world of plants during the event, which will take place from 10 am to 4.30 pm, and celebrates the third international Fascination of Plants Day.

Academics and students from the University’s School of Biological Sciences will be on hand to demonstrate some of the unusual ways in which plants have evolved, from useful adaptations - what’s the best way to catch a meal in a rainforest?, to the plain strange - just how big can a flower get?

Nick Wray, Curator of the Botanic Garden, said: “Fascination of Plants Day returns to the Botanic Garden this year with a look at the weird and wonderful members of the plant kingdom.

“Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the Garden with an A-Z trail that identifies some of the most interesting species in the collection.  Come and join us to discover the fascinating world of plants.”

The aim of the day will be to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture, in sustainably producing food, as well as for horticulture, forestry and all of the non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy and pharmaceuticals.  

The University of Bristol Botanic Garden Fascination of Plants Day will take place on Sunday 18 May from 10 am to 4.30 pm.

Admission is £3.50 for non-members, free to Friends of the Botanic Garden, University staff and retired staff, students and children under 16No booking required.

Further information is available from the Botanic Garden, tel 0117 331 4906 or email

Further information

About the Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 4,500 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants and rare and threatened native plants to the Bristol area. 

Star attractions include an amazing dell demonstrating the evolution of land plants including the dinosaurs’ favourite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles and Wolly, the Wollemi Pine.  Other delights include the Chinese and Western herb gardens and an inspiring display of plants illustrating floral diversity. 

Opening times for the Botanic Garden:

May.  Open Monday to Friday and Sunday from 10 am to 4.30pm.  Closed on Saturday.

June, July, August and September.  Open Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 4.30 pm. 

Admission is £3.50 adults; free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 16.

Dogs (except registered disability assistance dogs) are not permitted in the Botanic Garden.

The Garden is largely accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the Garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site.

The garden also offers private day, evening and weekend guided tours for groups of ten upwards and gardening or any other leisure clubs.  Please contact the garden for further information.  There is a charge for the guide.

Directions to the Botanic Garden

From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, The Botanic Garden at the Holmes is 150 m on the right.

Members of the public wishing to support the work of the Botanic Garden should join the Friends of the Garden. For more information go to the Friends of the Botanic Garden or write to Susan Redfern, The Membership Secretary, 24 Dublin Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4NA.

Edit this page