An installation of thirty-six varieties of medicinal plants has popped up in the piazzetta of Prague’s National Theatre.
The temporary green display was created by Haenke, a new concept store devoted to botanicals and named for Czech botanist Thaddaus Haenke, one of the first scientists to share his findings on Latin America’s flora with Europe, including the world’s largest water lily, Victoria amazonica, which he discovered in 1801.
According to exhibit organizers: “There are approximately 400,000 plant species worldwide, with nearly a tenth of them being used for their medicinal properties. The aim of the Victoria Pragensis project is to emphasize the precious yet fragile cultural heritage of medicinal plants, and their role in the context of public spaces and urban design.”
Juráš Lasovský, the architect who designed the installation, notes:
“With Victoria Pragensis, the authors encourage the audience to make use of public spaces they perceive as a vital part of our living rooms, work spaces, and places for leisure.”
Visitors are invited to “enter a botanical labyrinth of nearly one thousand plants and set on a quest to find those renowned for their medicinal properties.”
The Haenke concept store opened earlier this year in Žižkov – it offers regular phytotherapy workshops led by ethnobotanist Julien Antih and creative producer Alexandra Strelcova.
Guided tours and workshops will be part of the programme. The installation is a collaboration between the National Theatre as part of their Piazzetta 24/7 project and the Municipality of Prague 1.
The temporary plant forest, made even more stunning by the surrounding architecture of this Prague landmark building, is open through August 3.
For more on the project see www.victoriapragensis.com