18–26.01 Exhibition „Plants that changed the world”

Plants have played an important part in shaping human history. Besides the fact that our very
existence is only possible thanks to plants and the miracle of photosynthesis, there are plants that
have influenced our history in one way or another. A number of discoveries which changed people’s
lives and societies has been made because of plants. There are plants to which empires owe their
preservation and plants studying which helped heal kings and soldiers alike. In ancient times, plants
changed the history of seafaring and resulted in the discovery of new parts of the world. The power
of plants is greatly appreciated by people of creative professions: artists, writers, musicians,
architects, engineers, inventors, craftsmen and many others. On the other hand, there are plants
whose influence has been destructive if we consider the victory march of refined sugar, drugs and
alcohol at various stages of history. At the exhibition, we will be displaying exotic and more widely
known plants which have influenced history. For examples, visitors will be able to learn which
invention was inspired by watching the flight mechanics of winged seeds of the Javan cucumber, the
seeds of which plants are sources of “vegetable ivory”, from which diseases humanity was saved by
the Cinchona genus, which well-known plant contributed to the emergence of genetics, which plant
is associated with the “white gold rush”, and much more. This is a multi-faceted exhibition providing
information from the domains of ethnobotany, history, biochemistry, physiology, pharmaceutical
science, gastronomy, perfumery and a number of others.