Close up of a bee on some orange flowers (Image taken by Andrea Britton from The James Hutton Institute)

Fascination of Plants Day 2024

Fascination of Plants Day takes place globally on May 18, encouraging people to be fascinated by the wonder of plants and their huge importance in our lives and wider environment.

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Fascination of Plants Day is series of events across Aberdeen will highlight the importance of plants to society.

Activities range from plant sales, to workshops exploring the impact of plants on our senses, from testing your sense of smell in ‘a herb identifying challenge,’ to identifying whether you are a super-taster and might have the bitter-tasting version of the TAS2R38 gene. Visually, an open lecture will view gardens through the senses of the Impressionists from Europe, North America and Australia. 

The programme is part of the annual Fascination of Plants Day, which encourages people to learn more about the importance of plants and plant science from providing the air we breathe to the sustainable production of nutritious food.  In our workshops we will explore the huge range of biodiversity that depends on our plants and how plants themselves interact with animals and fungi to improve the diets and health of humans and animals.  

Founded in 2012, Fascination of Plants Day, has become a global movement, with organisations across 56 countries taking part. The programme for this year’s event runs from 16 - 19 May 2024.

The programme provides a range of fun and interesting events across several local venues. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved and find out more about the many thousands of plant species that exist and how we use them in everyday life. We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors and showcasing the truly fascinating world of plants.
Morag McFadyen, Lecturer & Fascination of Plants Day Event Co-ordinator, School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, RGU

Organisations running events include the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, Friends of the Cruickshank Garden, Duthie Park Ranger Service, SRUC, and James Hutton Institute. 

Venues include Duthie Park, Zoology building University of Aberdeen, Cruickshank Botanic Garden.

2024 Events

Spring Plant Sale

Saturday 18 May, 10:30 – 12:00

Cruickshank Botanic Garden

Run by Friends of Cruickshank Botanic Garden

Spring is here - come along and bag a bargain! Plants are all donated so you can often pick up a rare or choice item. Prices are mostly £1 or £2, unless the plant is large or unusual - even then you can expect to pay only £3 or £4. Enquiries should be emailed to

Noel Pritchard Memorial Lecture

Thursday 16 May, 19:30 – 20:30

Zoology Building Lecture Theatre, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen.

Run by Friends of Cruickshank Botanic Garden

Speaker Caroline Holmes - “Impressionists in their gardens - living light and colour.”

This lecture explores gardens through the senses of the Impressionists from three continents – Europe, North America and Australia – enjoying the essentially similar pleasures of the garden but engaging with the light from their skies in order to create very different sensations. The enclosure of the garden acts like a picture frame showcasing a living canvas that exudes the individuality, vision and taste of its tenants, their family, friends, lifestyles and, in the simple words of the greatest Impressionist and gardener Monet, providing motifs to paint.

Free entry.

Aberdeen Fascination of Plants Day Public Event 2024

Sunday 19 May, 10:30 – 16:00

All events are free to attend and are located in the sunken area within the David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park

Aberdeen City Council Duthie Park Ranger Service - Plantastic!

Join the Duthie Park Rangers for some plantastic fun! Test your sense of smell by taking part in ‘a herb identifying challenge’ and plant something in your own handcrafted paper pot made out of old newspapers! Children can learn what plants need to grow and why they are important, and can make a leaf rubbing too!

Robert Gordon University (RGU) - The Power of Plants

Join scientists from Robert Gordon University learning all about the power of plants and their diverse defence mechanisms from thorns and spikes to bitter tasting compounds.  Come and find out if you are a ‘super taster’ and whether you might have the bitter-tasting version of the TAS2R38 gene. A fun hands-on science-based workshop where you will be able to extract plant DNA from and look at the microscopic structure of plants. 

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) - Plant Diversity in Agricultural Systems

Agricultural crops help to feed the world’s population. Growing them efficiently to provide good yields and quality whilst encouraging beneficial environmental stewardship is a balance all farmers are tasked with. A diverse range of plants in both time (rotation) and location (different scales) can help achieve this balance. Colleagues from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will demonstrate a number of these factors and explain how they are interlinked, including the use of N fixing legumes and multi-species grassland which can improve soil structure and quality or improve the diets and health of the animals eating them.

The James Hutton Institute - Fabulous Forests

Forests are a key feature of our Scottish landscapes and one which is expected to increase in area over the coming years, however, a forest is much more than just trees! Come and get hands on with the help of scientists from the James Hutton Institute, to explore the huge range of biodiversity that depends on our native tree species, the benefits that we derive from forests and some of the threats that they face.

University of Aberdeen - What's the point of plants?

Exciting workshop from scientists at the University of Aberdeen show-casing displays and activities on the ways that plants interact with animals and fungi to deliver the products and services needed to sustain our lives, including the importance of pollination, seed dispersal and nutrient uptake. 

Find out more

A full list of events around the globe, along with more information about the Fascination of Plants Day, can be found at the official website:

You can also find more information about the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at RGU.

The Duthie Park Ranger Service provides a range of nature themed educational resources to schools. Find more information and contact details:

Image taken by Andrea Britton from The James Hutton Institute.

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