Roots to Seeds

About the exhibition

Plants are essential to all aspects of our lives. They are central to the solution of global strategic issues we face such as food security, environmental change and species conservation.

Marking the anniversary of the foundation of the Oxford Botanic Garden, in 1621, this exhibition reflected on four centuries of botanical research and teaching at the University of Oxford.

The exhibition charted the story of Oxford botany as an ever-changing organism, from its early roots as physic garden in the seventeenth century to the collaborative research of today.

The last 400 years has shown that Plant Sciences at Oxford succeeds by focusing on quality research and by equipping subsequent generations with the tools necessary to frame and answer new questions about the biology of plants.

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Plant Science - the next 400 years

We need to work together to tackle global challenges including feeding a growing population, combating crop diseases, and living sustainably on our planet. Find out what plant scientists of the future – students from the University of Oxford's Department of Plant Sciences – think about the next big research questions in a series of videos.

What will we eat in the future?

How do you fight plant disease with maths?

How important are forests?

What will we eat in space?

Why make cities green?

Exhibition opening event

Watch the online opening event for the exhibition hosted by geneticist and Nobel Laureate Sir Paul Nurse, including interviews with the curator, Professor Stephen Harris and a panel discussion.


Professor Stephen Harris, Druce Curator (Herbaria), Associate Professor in Plant Sciences


Professor Simon Hiscock, Director, Oxford Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum

Dr Chris Thorogood, Deputy Director and Head of Science, Oxford Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum

Part of Oxford Botany 400

Oxford Botanic Garden & Arboretum logo
400 years botanic gardens logo

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