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A Massive 'Flying' Steampunk Greenhouse Has Touched Down In The Botanical Garden

The 4-storey high structure is powered by electricity produced by the plants on board.

MTL Blog, Staff Writer
​People wearing khaki jumpsuits climb an unusually shaped greenhouse with wings and a series of balloons.

People wearing khaki jumpsuits climb an unusually shaped greenhouse with wings and a series of balloons.

Emmanuel Bourgeau | Courtesy of Espace pour la vie

All aboard the Aéroflorale II, a travelling steampunk greenhouse that has chosen Montreal as its first stop in North America.

Run by a team of French researchers interested in native plants (played by actors), L'Expédition végétale offers visitors the chance to see specimens collected from all over the world and learn about their energy-producing qualities.

Combining fantasy with science, the team behind the project will conduct public experiments relating to the city's biodiversity until July 31.

"The ability of plants to produce electricity is at the heart of our research. We are going to explore the Jardin Botanique and try to identify endemic plants with high phytovoltaic yields," said François Delarozière, the ship's "captain" and the creator of the green street theatre project.

Delarozière wanted to create a theatre set in public that would enact scenes designed to "surprise and unsettle onlookers" and encourage them to imagine a collective fantasy.

Visitors can meet with him and his team every day over the next two weeks from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (except July 20, 21, 26 and 27).

Entry to the Botanical Garden will also grant access to L'Expédition végétale.

The crew's last stopover was in Calais along the English Channel in September of 2019.

L'Expédition végétale

When: July 18 - July 31, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (except July 20, 21, 26 and 27)

Where: Montreal Botanical Garden, 4101 Sherbrooke St E., Montreal, QC

Cost: $16.50 residents; $22 non-residents


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