A new exhibition at Kew Gardens ventures into the fascinating world of mind-altering plants and fungi

This autumn Kew Gardens explores the world of mind-altering plants. The event, which runs until October 12, is part of the Gardens Intoxication Season, features live displays in the Princess of Wales conservatory and an exhibition of botanical art.

Mind-altering plants have been used for generations across the globe from cannabis, which despite being used in fibre and oil for centuries is better known as the one of the world’s most consumed recreational drugs, to Ayahuasca, is an obscure South American vine, originally used by Amazonian tribes to make a psychoactive drink designed to trigger spiritual revelations in the mind of the drinker.

Visitors will be able to explore the secret history behind opium poppies, and the seemingly humble coffee plant whose mild stimulant properties are regularly enjoyed by a third of the global population.

Magic mushrooms © RBG Kew

Magic mushrooms

There are also a series of activities every weekend, including the Botanical Beverages Bar which will offer a range of autumnal-themed botanical cocktails alongside the chance to learn about the different plants used to make alcohol.

Afterwards, brave the Fungarium’s open house, on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th October, in celebration of UK Fungus Day and meet the mycology team to find out about their work..

Find out more about the Kew Gardens Intoxication Season here, or call 020 8332 5655.

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