Simply wicked! - Tucson Local Media: El Sol

Simply wicked!

Deadly plants set to strike at the Gardens

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Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 6:00 am

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

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