Seed World

Prepare to Celebrate the 5th Fascination of Plants Day

The 18th of May 2019 will be the 5th international Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD), organized under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) to celebrate plants in all their diversity and wonder.

The goal of FoPD is to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for the sustainable production of nutritious food, horticulture, forestry, the protection of biodiversity and the production of plant-based non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy and pharmaceuticals. The role of plants in environmental conservation and climate action is also a key message.

Plant science research is vitally importantto enhance our health and wellbeing, protect the environment and support all forms of sustainable development. Plant science can provide critical research incites that can help inform innovations and policies that affect all 17 of the 2016 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For example, selectively breeding plants which are more diverse, nutritious and have a stable/higher yield with a lower environmental footprint, including those that can grow in adverse soil conditions, supports the ambition for Zero Hunger (SDG2) and Good Health and Wellbeing (SGD3). Evaluating the capacity of forests to absorb carbon and help limit global warming can enhance Climate Action, SGD 13. Monitoring the effects of exploitation of natural resources and habitat degradation on biodiversity can help inform policies on sustainable resource use, which contributes to the success of SDGs 14 and 15, Life Below Water and Life on Land.

“We are very proud of having so many different institutions celebrating this event with us since its inception in 2012. This is a great day for everyone that works with plants and want to share with everyone how fascinating we find them,” said Nelson Saibo, National Coordinator for Portugal, 2017.

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The Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD) was first launched in 2012, followed by FoPDs from 2013 to 2017 at which over 1,000 events were organized in over 52 countries worldwide, attracting many thousands of visitors. This international day aims to help the people of the world understand why plant science is of critical significance to social, environmental and economic issues on earth today and in the future. Over 44 countries worldwide have confirmed their participation in the FoPD 2019, and this is set to keep rising. The goal is to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated in plants and there are many ways to hold interactive events.

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Participants are encouraged to share fascinating facts about plants, interesting information about their research, pictures and videos of plants by using the hashtag #PlantDay and by sending the EPSO videos to upload to their YouTube channel.

All information about this initiative can be accessed at and is supported by a network of national coordinators who voluntarily promote and disseminate the activities within their countries.

To upload an event, please contact your National Coordinator (see your Country page). For any other inquiry, do not hesitate to contact the FoPD Global Coordinators at EPSO. You can take photos and share your events on social media, and send your upcoming events, photos and success stories at for free promotion.

A very big THANK YOU to all FoPD coordinators and event organizer volunteers who worked so hard to make FoPDs such as success!

2013 – 2017 Success Stories

The success for previous Fascination of Plants Days are a huge inspiration and source of ideas for interactive plant related events. There has been a huge variety of events over the years for all ages and experience levels, from laboratory workshops to outdoor treasure hunts, museum exhibits and botanical garden light displays. The FoPD has grown with every edition, with more counties hosting more events, engaging more people around the world in the wonder of plants. FoPD 2019 is set to be a large scale international public engagement event that captures the attention of the public across the world. Here are some inspirational FoPD Success Story highlights from across the globe.

Sowing seeds

For FoPD 2013, Chile brought together 23 organizing institutions that formed a network of organisations and participants carrying out various activities across 12 cities – from seed and tree-planting in schools and preschools, academic lectures, art exhibits, photography contests, to special activities in the main botanical gardens of the country, museums, universities and scientific research centres. These activities promoted the knowledge of plants. Just as the seeds the children sowed will blossom and growth, as will their love of plants and respect for the natural world.

Indoor laboratory, outdoor field trip

An FoPD-2013 celebration in Ukraine involved both indoor and outdoor activities, offered by enthusiasts from different parts of the country: visitors enjoyed a laboratory workshops and field trips. The scope of the events was broad: microscopy approaches, nitrates content detection, basics of topiary art, the principles of herbarisation, literature contest “Verbum di Plantis”, physiology of flowering, a forest quiz with the search of treasures in a unique protected area, an inter-national conference, an educational cycle of interactive games offered for primary school children, and even the art of plant-derived dyeing!

Museum exhibits

In Córdoba, one of the three cities in Argentina that celebrated FoPD-2015, school groups overflowed the National Academy of Science, the University and the Museum of Natural Sciences to see exhibits and participate in games and activities designed for people of all ages.

Making the Invisible Visible family fun day

In Austria several academic institutes collaborated to organise the family fun day “Making the Invisible Visible” for FoPD-2015, which presented exciting hands-on experimental workshops, guided tours, and an international root-race at the flourishing Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna. More than 500 people were excited and fascinated by the deep scientific insight into plants.

Science Feast of Plants

In China, FoPD-2015 was initiated by Chinese Society for Plant Biology and launched at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, CAS and Shanghai Natural History Museum. Many organisations held special public science educational activities. The exhibition included plants and human lives, transgenic food security, endangered plants, plant-environment and biological energy sources. Tens of thousands of people took part in the Science Feast of Plants, enjoying and appreciating the fascination of plant science.

Science Experiment Camp and Light show

In Lithuania, FoPD-2015 included 16 events in seven cities organised by 26 institutions. At one of these events, “In the Plant World” in Kaunas, 10 partners organised a Science Experiment Camp for children and “Night Dance of Flowers“ light show in the botanical garden for people of all ages to appreciate.

Research and Policy Conference

A forum of internationally recognized researchers in the areas of plant science and public policy in Australia discussed the challenges and potential solutions needed to secure a future with food for everyone for FoPD-2017. The event tackled the important question: What are we doing now to make food crops more productive and sustainable to ensure there is enough food for the 795 million people who go hungry today and the additional two billion we are expecting by 2050? They debated aspects such as the role of genetic engineering and other modern agricultural technologies, water and land scarcity and the importance of interdisciplinary approaches and public opinion.

Photo competition

For FoPD-2017 in the US, nine events were registered around the country and awarded prizes through a photo contest. See all the submitted photos by searching #PlantDayUSA on social media. At the University of Maryland over 200 visitors enjoyed posters, activities, free plants, and free food.

Source: European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO)