Two Delaware institutions are teaming up to present the wild, wicked and weird world of plants this summer. Visitors to the Delaware Museum of Natural History will explore Wicked Plants: The Exhibit
, on view Saturday, June 22 through Monday, September 2, 2019. Featured with the traveling exhibit are plants and artwork from Mt. Cuba Center, a native plant botanic garden located nearby. Mt. Cuba Center is also offering walks and classes in their garden on the topic of Wicked Plants.
Inspired by author Amy Stewart’s best-selling book, Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities, Wicked Plants offers a fun, safe and educational way to explore some of nature’s most toxic flora. Two- and three dimensional interactives fill a Victorian-era home, where visitors travel from room to room and learn about various poisonous plants that may be lurking in their homes and backyards. From a crime scene investigation in the potions laboratory, to sniffing stations in the bathroom, to a simulated graveyard featuring some of the most common deadly and toxic plants, Wicked Plants provides a comprehensive overview of an often unknown side of the natural world.
Visitors can explore the world of Wicked Plants at several events at both DMNH and Mt. Cuba, including a book chat and cocktail party with author Amy Stewart at DMNH on Friday, June 28:
- DMNH Members get FREE admission to Mt. Cuba Center on Sundays, June 30, July 21 and August 25. Just bring your DMNH Membership card!
- Wicked Plants Walks: From the familiar poison ivy, to the stench of skunk cabbage, to the spines of prickly pear, plants native to the Brandywine Valley will be on display at Mt. Cuba Center on Friday, July 26, August 2, and August 9 from 6:30-7:15 p.m., with a featured cocktail—The Antidote—available for purchase. $15, includes general admission for the day. This is part of Mt. Cuba Center’s extended hours on Fridays during the summer, when the gardens are open until 8 PM between Memorial Day and Labor Day and welcome picnickers to the gardens to enjoy wine, beer and food from The Box Lunch.
- Wicked Plants of the Northeast, Saturday, July 13, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Learn the basics of identification, natural history, and toxicity of some of the most common poisonous plants in our area and how to safely interact with them. Rain date: Saturday, July 20. $29, includes general admission for the day.
At the Delaware Museum of Natural History:
- Family Fun Day and opening of Wicked Plants: The Exhibit: Saturday, June 22, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Explore our backyard, then discover what’s lurking in yours. Outdoor activities with local organizations, a live bird show with Animal Behavior and Conservation Connections, and the first look at Wicked Plants: The Exhibit.
- Books, Booze, and Botanicals, a cocktail party with Wicked Plants author Amy Stewart: Friday, June 28, 7-9 p.m. Share food, wine, and conversation with Amy Stewart, bestselling author of Girl Waits with Gun and The Drunken Botanist, as we discuss her book Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. Meet the author, sample crafted cocktails (virgin and non-virgin), learn mixology techniques from Bloomsday Café natural wine bar, and have your book signed after the presentation. Light refreshments available for purchase (including beer & wine). $3/DMNH Members, $12/non-members. Ticket and Wicked Plants book combo: $18.95/ DMNH Members, $24.95/non-members.
Wicked Plants: The Exhibit is funded by The North Carolina Arboretum Society and the Creel-Harison Foundation, and sponsored locally by DuPont, Quest for the Best, and the Delaware College Investment Plan.
About the Delaware Museum of Natural History
The Delaware Museum of Natural History opened its doors in 1972 to excite and inform people about the natural world through exploration and discovery. The museum houses Delaware’s only permanent dinosaur display, surrounded by exhibits of mammals, shells, and other specimens from around the world. The museum stores renowned scientific collections of mollusks and birds, including the tenth largest mollusk collection and the second largest bird egg collection in the United States. More information at delmnh.org
About Mt. Cuba Center
Mt. Cuba Center is a botanical garden located in Hockessin, Delaware. Over the past 80 years the gardens at Mt. Cuba Center have evolved, transforming fallow cornfields into thriving, ecologically-functional landscapes, thanks to the initiative of Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland. Gardens are open for general admission Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am-4 pm, and until 8 pm on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Classes are offered year-round. General admission is free for members, $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-17; free for children 5 and under. More information at mtcubacenter.org