Edinburgh Lecture: Weird Plants


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


Dr Chris Thorogood, Oxford University


Thursday, 25 October, 2018 - 18:00

Our green planet is home to a dazzling diversity of flowering plant species. This talk will explore the bizarre, the sinister and the mysterious side of the plant world. A world in which plants trick, dupe, steal and even kill: carnivorous plants that drug, drown and consume unsuspecting insect prey; giant pitcher plants that evolved toilets for tree shrews; flowers that mimic rotting flesh to attract pollinating flies, and orchids that duplicitously look, feel and even smell like a female insect to bamboozle sex-crazed male bees. Whilst some of these plants are well-known to science, others are still poorly understood – for example Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower, is still virtually unknown in cultivation and represents a giant botanical enigma. This talk will showcase plant behaviour: the inter-relationships among plants, the inter-dependencies between plants and animals, and the intrigue of plant evolution. Ultimately, it is about the science of weird plants.

This lecture is the Sir William Wright Smith lecture in the BSS Annual Lecture Series

Lectures are held jointly with the Royal Botanic Garden in their Lecture Theatre. Doors open at 17:30, lecture commences at 18:00h. 20A Inverleith Row, EH3 5LR.


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