Phytotechnologies at the Jardin botanique de Montréal

Phytotechnologies – Roles and objectives

Besides being a food source and natural wonder, plants can be used to solve environmental problems like purifying air, water and soil, controlling erosion and run-off, and helping to remediate degraded sites. These uses of plants are referred to as phytotechnologies.

Putting their expertise to good use, the scientists of the Jardin botanique and the Institut de recherche en biologie végétale (IRBV) have been working together on building a series of phytotechnology stations. Through this joint venture, they are developing concrete solutions to a number of problems at the Jardin botanique, while also adding an educational dimension focused on explaining the role and functioning of the plants in the stations.

Phytotechnologies are being used more and more and offer alternatives to conventional engineering approaches. They are valued for their low investment costs, high success rates and the many ecosystemic services they provide.

Six well-integrated stations

The six phytotechnology demonstration stations are being opened sequentially, one after the other, between 2019 and 2026. Over time, these green solutions will contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, improve the quality of air, water and soil, and boost conservation of existing environments.
As a visitor, you’ll have an opportunity to discover plants’ invisible power and see how they effectively and aesthetically help generate a host of environmental benefits.

You can draw inspiration from these phytotechnologies to make connections with your daily life and imagine possible plant applications at home, at work and in your community.

  1. Filtering Marshes – Aquatic Garden (2019)
    The roots of the aquatic plants, together with the bacteria and microorganisms living in the Aquatic Garden’s two filtering marshes, serve to purify the water feeding the plant collection basins in a closed circuit.
  2. Controlling Invasive Plants – Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion (2021)
    Rehabilitation of the pond at the Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion has addressed the issue of unwanted plants, while illustrating the various rehabilitation techniques that can be used to control them. Significant development work has been done to provide inspirational viewpoints over the wetland.
  3. Project Regeneration – Biodiversity Centre (2023)
    Regeneration is a contemporary digital artwork in progress that is closely connected to a research field known as phytoremediation. The product of an art-meets-science collaboration, this work documents in real time the regeneration through plants of an area of land near the Jardin botanique. Through a light and sound installation, visitors can witness in a fascinating way data collected by cameras and sensors. The project is a coproduction of Espace pour la vie and the National Film Board of Canada.
  4. Green roof – Youth Gardens (to come)
    The new sanitary building to be added close to the Youth Gardens will be covered with a green roof. The station will become the perfect place to learn about phytotechnologies from an early age, as the roof will be accessible to everyone.
  5. Bank stabilization – Big ponds (to come)
    Phytotechnologies will be used to stabilize the banks and limit the spread of invasive plants in the pond area. The components will adhere to an architectural concept that makes visitor access to the water easier while demonstrating the efficiency of plant stabilization techniques.
  6. Heat reduction islands – Main parking lot (to come)
    The main parking lot, which is the entranceway to the Jardin, is currently a vast expanse of asphalt. The creation of water filtration and retention zones will allow for better rainwater management. This new development will reduce the heat-island effect, and water runoff will be diverted to rain gardens.