Simply wicked
Dr. Ergot Ratbane will thrill his young audiences with tall tales of devious, dangerous and often deadly plants during Wicked Wednesdays at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. The storytelling and tours will take place Feb. 23, March 30 and April 27. courtesy photo

It may be pleasing to look at an oleander but never add it to a salad. It’s deadly.

Devious, dangerous and often deadly plants are taking center stage at Tucson Botanical Gardens during the Wicked Plants Exhibit. Inspired by Amy Stewart’s book “Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities,” the exhibit presents a live botanical collection comprising the more nefarious members of the plant kingdom — flora that is poisonous, carnivorous and just plain nasty.

In conjunction with the exhibit, Tucson Botanical Gardens also offers Wicked Wednesdays. This family friendly interactive experience takes place from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month, starting Feb. 23. Younger audience members will get a kick out of Dr. Ergot Ratbane and his tall tales of devious, dangerous and often deadly plants. Following the storytelling, Dr. Ratbane will take his subjects on a flashlight tour of all the weird and wicked plants in the Gardens. They may even get a glimpse inside his famous laboratory.

The Tucson Botanical Gardens and Wicked Plants Exhibit are open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on major holidays. Wicked Wednesdays take place from 4:30 to 9 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month (Feb. 23, March 30 and April 27). 

Admission to Wicked Wednesdays is included in the Gardens’ general admission. The cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 4-12, and free for children ages 3 and younger and Gardens’ members.

Tucson Botanical Gardens is located in the heart of Tucson, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. It features 17 specialty gardens on 5-1/2 acres.

For more information, call 326-9686, ext. 10, e-mail or visit

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.