Oude UB exhibition shows the beauty of ‘pavement plants’
For a few years now, Leiden’s Hortus botanicus has been mounting a campaign to cherish wild plants in the city – for the biodiversity and beauty of this spontaneous vegetation. Botanical artists reveal this beauty in an exhibition at Oude UB in Leiden.
The ‘Plants through the Magnifying Glass’ exhibition shows around 70 beautiful watercolours and drawings of pavement plants. The works were produced by members of the Dutch Society of Botanical Artists. They made detailed portraits of wild plants that grow spontaneously in the city. The free exhibition is the initiative of the Hortus botanicus and can be seen on weekdays from 11 March to 20 May at Oude UB (Rapenburg 70).
Importance of pavement plants
Spontaneous vegetation on pavements, by houses, around trees and near lampposts contributes to biodiversity and helps cool down the city. Since 2019, the Hortus in Leiden has been using the term pavement plants as a friendlier, more neutral name for the city’s weeds. If pavement plants get in the way or cause dangerous situations, they need to be removed, but otherwise let them grow, is the Hortus’ message.
Besides the exhibition, a pavement plants album with 52 drawings and watercolours will be published at the end of March this year. The idea is that when you come across one of the plants, you stick the corresponding picture in your album, thus creating your own paper herbarium in the course of the year. Then the album becomes a personal, colourful record of a year-long hunt for pavement plants.