Science Cafe – Plants, Perfumes, and Poisons – May 1

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Wednesday, May 01, 2013 | 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM | Community Hall | Lafayette Library and Learning Center

Science Cafe – Plants, Perfumes, and Poisons

Curious about what makes a stinking hellebore stinky? What makes leaves turn color in fall? Organic chemist Dr. Margareta (Greti) Sequin, author, plant enthusiast and Lecturer Emerita at San Francisco State University comes to the LLLC to talk about the plants we love, and the things we love about them – like their scents, oils and colors. She’ll share her vast knowledge of California native flora and their pleasing and poisonous properties.

Dr. Sequin will lead us on a virtual, photo-illustrated walk around the vicinity of the Lafayette Library and surrounding nature areas to explore the smells and defensive substances of native plants. Plants are masters at defense, in the form of tough skins, thorns, or sharp spines, but also in the form of bitter saps, sticky resins, or poisons that can harm. We will look at plants that contain defensive substances and examine their molecular structures….no previous chemistry knowledge required! We’ll also explore the connections with human uses of these plant substances, such as commercial fragrances or medicines.

More information here.

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