Plants are alive. This is obvious – or is it?

Think of any plant that you know. Can you recall it as a seedling? Do you remember its first bloom or fruit? Chances are, unless you’re a gardener, farmer, or plant scientist, the milestones of a plant’s life pass without notice.

Many of us think of and treat plants as inanimate objects. But a plant grows, reacts to changes in its environment, reproduces, responds to disease and injury, and undergoes a slow decline into old age and death – a saga that sounds hauntingly familiar.

In a way, our “plant blindness” is a handicap. Human senses are attuned to react to movement: the stalking predator, the advancing storm, and other immediate threats. Seemingly stationary plants simply don’t capture our attention. But, contrary to our conscious perception, plants do move … be it ever so slowly.

Slowlife offers a journey into altered perceptions – a window into the world of plants. It accelerates the time-scale of plants into our own frame of reference, speeding up their everyday lives to a pace that resonates with our own.

Opening January 25, 2015,  this exhibition is a collaborative project of the United States Botanic Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Roger Hangarter.

Based on an original concept by Roger Hangarter, Indiana University, and Dennis DeHart, Buffalo State, the State University of New York with original sounds by Jon Gibson, Indiana University.


Additional financial support provided by The National Science Foundation, Indiana University and The American Society of Plant Biologist.

Exhibit Support Provided in Part by our Community Partners