The Kirstenbosch Plant Fair invites visitors on an aromatic journey through South Africa’s unique plant kingdom. This year’s theme is ‘Amazing Aromatics: recognise and celebrate the fragrances from the rich legacy of plants that surround us’. Throughout history, people have been gratified by fragrances. The Ancient Greeks had specialist perfumers, the Aztecs loved to carry fresh flower bouquets and our huge modern perfume industry bases itself on the natural scents produced by plants. Fragrant cut flowers and herbs have long been strewn indoors to vitalise our homes – we still use potpourri today. Our ability to smell and savour a beautiful aroma is the most highly-prized of all our senses. Plants create and employ scents to achieve very particular objectives. They might wish to attract a potential pollinator with a smell, like sweet nectar, or yeast to attract mice. Some deliberately create putrid smells to attract flies, or have fragrant leaves that discourage unwelcome insects and herbivores.
South Africa’s diversity of indigenous plants contains unique fragrances that are inadequately recognised and appreciated. The 2017 Kirstenbosch Plant Fair aims to help change this. Moreover, the Plant Fair works to raise funds for the development of Kirstenbosch. Visitors will be able to find fragrant bulbs that grow perfectly in pots, beds and gardens.
The Kirstenbosch Plant Fair takes place 13-14 May 2017 (please note the date change due to the Western Cape drought), gates open 9am. Entrance is R20 for adults; children free. For more info visit botsoc-kirstenbosch.org.za.