Stellenbosch University
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Celebrating the fascinating world of plants
Author: Faculty of Science (media & communication)
Published: 17/05/2024

The fascinating world of plants will be in the global spotlight when plant lovers from all over the world celebrate the seventh International Fascination of Plants Day on Saturday 18 May 2024.

The Fascination of Plants Day is hosted annually under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) and the Global Plant Council.

Dr Itumeleng Moroenyane, a botanist from Stellenbosch University (SU) and national coordinator for events in South Africa, says it is important to acknowledge the significant contributions that South African plants have made to our cultural identity and traditional knowledge systems.

“From the healing properties of indigenous medicinal plants to the culinary delights of our edible flora, our flora is incredibly diverse and valuable. From the iconic fynbos of the Cape to the majestic baobabs of the Limpopo Province, South Africa's plants captivate the imagination and sustain life in countless ways. The plants in South Africa enrich our lives in myriad ways, reminding us of the deep connections between people and plants that have endured for centuries."

This is the first time that South Africa is participating in this global event.

At SU's Department of Botany and Zoology, Dr Moroenyane organised a programme for learners from local schools. It will consist of a microscope workshop, tours of the laboratories, a walking food tour and discussions.

On Saturday 18 May, the Department of Botany and Zoology and the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden are hosting a public event with guided food garden tours, interactive workshops, creative crafts, live music, and food trucks. Click here for more information and bookings - Events ( 

More about plants

  • Plants are unique organisms. They can produce sugars just from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. This ability to directly synthesize their own food has enabled plants to successfully colonize, adapt to, and diversify within almost every niche on the planet. Biologists estimate the total number of plant species to be about 250,000.
  • These abilities make plants the primary producers of biomass providing animals and mankind with food, feed, paper, medicine, chemicals, energy, and an enjoyable landscape.
  • Worldwide, anyone who would like to contribute to the Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD) is welcome to join in. Just contact your National Coordinator (click on "countries" at to discuss and get access to all the supporting materials.
  • The Fascination of Plants Day covers all plant related topics including basic plant science, agriculture, horticulture and gardening, forestry, plant breeding, plant protection, food and nutrition, environmental conservation, climate change mitigation, smart bioproducts, biodiversity, sustainability, renewable resources, plant science education and art.

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