Plants of the World

From the tiniest seed to the tallest redwood, the diversity of plant life is astounding. Visitors to the Plants of the World at The Field Museum can discover plants from all over the globe through stunning, accurate recreations.

All of the plants within the exhibition are modeled with unprecedented attention to detail. Visitors are able to see every petal and pistil, getting an inside view into the complicated anatomy of plant life. In addition, the exhibition pairs plants with their uses in the modern world. The process of beer making is described next to the plants used at each stage, and the South American Cinchona is shown next to a vial of quinine, a drug drawn from the plant that treats malaria.

While the scientific aspects of Plants of the World are fascinating, the exhibition itself could be at home in any art museum. The models are vivid with color and detail, evoking distant places and unique ecosystems. The fragile white flowers of a tea plant look so delicate they might break when touched, while hardy cedar tree bark appears rough and rugged. Many of the models are on a large scale, and could easily pass as actual specimens. Visitors leave the exhibition marveling at the effort and talent needed to produce the models and with a greater appreciation for the plants all over the Earth that affect our lives every day.

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