Savage Gardens

Daily May 27 through Sept.18, 2016
Free with gate admission


"Savage Gardens" uses artistic expression as a vehicle for educating the public about the wonders of these unique plants. Super-sized sculptures of four carnivorous plants created by Ohio artists from Tork Inc., plus six Interactive Stations (see below) juxtaposed with the horticultural installations of actual plants, have mesmerized local and regional visitors of all ages as they get a true bugs-eye perspective of what it would be like to be these plants' prey.

The Dionaea Muscipula - widely known as Venus Flytrap - is captured in a nine-foot-tall interactive sculpture that replicates the closing of the "trap" through the use of hydraulics controlled by visitors.

Sarracenia - or the Trumpet Plant - is made up of seven separate "plants" ranging in heights of six to 15 feet tall, and illuminated from within. Realistic in form and color, hammered aluminum with translucent powder coating creates an interesting play of light and color.

The "pitcher" of the Nepenthes (pictured above)- the Tropical Pitcher Plant - stands ten feet tall and invites visitors to step inside to imagine the fate of an insect that was allured by its nectar, through texture, form, and sound.

Drosera - the Sundew - employs hundreds of feet of fiber optic cable to illuminate the eight-foot-tall plants' tentacles that it uses to allure and trap prey. Over 500 translucent resin tentacles with droplets are internally lighted for dramatic effect.

Children’s Interactive Stations

·      Six freestanding, movable interactive pieces provide hands-on, playful learning and include:

  • Gotcha! – Learn how the plants lure, trap, and digest their prey.
  • Operation – Be careful! Try to remove the insects from the traps.
  • Getting to Know Carnivorous Plants Wheel – Identify different species of carnivorous plants.
  • Venus Flytrap – Feed him and snap his trap shut!
  • Pitcher Plant Photo Op – Be a bug, and have your picture taken inside a pitcher plant.
  • Build a Bog Magnet Board – Where do these plants live? Build a bog with magnetic images of carnivorous plants.

The Arboretum thanks these sponsors for their generous support of the Savage Gardens summer exhibit:

Park Dental Emerson

Beauty of the Beasts: The Allure of Predatory Plants

June 3-Sept. 18
Andersen Horticultural Library and Snyder Building Lobby

Explore the amazing world of carnivorous plants through poster, print and magazine displays! Learn how different species attract, capture and digest insects and other animals through the use of traps, gland-tipped hairs and sticky mucilage. Discover beautiful illustrations of savage plants featured in the Andersen Horticultural Library's rare books and special collections. Pictured below from left to right are the Cobra Lily, the Swamp Pitcher Plant, and the Sweet Pitcher Plant, all from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, a staple of the Library's magazine collections.

Darlington Nepenthes

Savage Plants Classes & Programs

Carnivorous Plants Classes & Programs
Register online or call 612-301-1210 

One-Hour Enrichment Experience:
Savage Plants and Big Bugs, Oh My! (ages 6-13)

Multiple dates throughout the summer

Carnivorous Plants Classes & Programs
Register online or call 612-301-1210  

The Hungry, Hungry Plant: Capturing the Carnivorous plant in Watercolors
Saturday, August 27, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.