Espace pour la vie was in for quite a surprise this morning! The huge flying greenhouse of the French team of L'Expédition végétale landed on the site of the Jardin botanique during the night!
Jardin management has learned that a very peculiar research team, L'Expédition végétale, is interested in native plants and their phytovoltaic properties (the ability to produce energy) and wishes to conduct research on the site of the Jardin botanique this summer.
These adventurers from the company La Machine travel the world aboard their mythical aircraft—the Aéroflorale II—a 4-storey high structure propelled by the electricity produced by the plants on board. During their stopover in Montreal, the team will conduct a series of experiments on the richness of the biodiversity of the city and its surroundings.
Mission to the Far North
After a long stopover in the Far North where the “researchers” studied, among other things, the ancient pollen of sunflowers of a yet to be discovered variety in the permafrost, the crew has now set course for America, for the first time in its history. Since its last stopover in September 2019, in Calais along the English Channel, L’Expédition végétale took to the skies once again on March 12 for its next mission to Quebec and its metropolis. Once there, its members will conduct a series of experiments on the richness and capacity of Quebec's endemic species to produce the proverbial phytovoltaic energy.
“We are very honoured that the Jardin botanique de Montréal is L'Expédition végétale's first North American stop,” said Anne Charpentier, Director of the Jardin. “The research conducted by this team of peculiar ‘scientists’ will give us the opportunity to address the importance of greening the city in an entirely original way.”
“On behalf of the Expédition végétale crew, I would like to sincerely thank the Jardin botanique for allowing us to land with the Aéroflorale II. 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 F.D., the captain of the Aéroflorale II.
Extended visiting hours at the Jardin botanique
The entire team of L'Expédition végétale will be glad to share their work with the visitors at the Jardin botanique from 10 am to 10 pm (last access to site at 9 pm), until their mission comes to an end on July 31. After that date, they will make their way to their next destination. Please note that the crew will be off on July 20, 21, 26 and 27.
Espace pour la vie
Espace pour la vie is made up of five major attractions: the Biodôme, the Biosphère, the Insectarium, the Jardin botanique and the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. These prestigious municipal institutions form Canada’s largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, encouraging all of us to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.