Humanity faces several major challenges today – some of them are directly related to public health such as climate change, anti-microbial resistance or the challenges of urban lifestyle. We believe that plant research may bring solutions to at least some of the global threaths. There are 400 thousand plant species in the world and only 2% have been scientifically studied. But it has already been proven certain plants have anti-microbial properties while others help clean air in interiors, not to mention the psychological value plants and nature bring to our lives. As the importance of sustainable lifestyle is increasingly growing, people tend to reach towards herbal remedies as an organic, natural alternative to synthetic medicine. Available information, however, are not always correct and reliable, and it is therefore vital to provide a trusted source based on scientific research.
The project's name is inspired by Thaddaus Häenke, famed explorer and botanist who is sometimes dubbed "Czech Humboldt". Häenke was born in a tiny little village in Bohemia but spent most of his life on scientific expeditions around the globe where he collected thousands of plants, described its uses and even contributed to the creation of the smallpox vaccine. He died in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 1816. By naming our project after him, we intend to pay him a long deserved tribute.
It is our mission to encourage the public to discover about relationship between plants and people around the world, including the use of medicinal plants. However, we think beyond workshops and lectures; trying to approach the public in more interactive ways instead. We are constantly on the hunt for partners who would like to participate in those adventures with us, and to show the extraordinary world of plants in an extraordinary context to both Czech and international public.
In collaboration with: National Theatre in Prague, Juráš Lasovský
Enter a botanical labyrinth of nearly one thousand plants and set on a quest to find those renowned for their medicinal properties. Victoria pragensis is a temporary landscape within urban space. It is comprised of nearly thousand plants forming together green soft contours. Its authors encourage the audience to make use of public spaces they perceive as a vital part of our living rooms, work spaces and places for leisure. There are approximately 400,000 plant species worldwide, with nearly a tenth of them used for their unique medicinal properties. There are approximately 400,000 plant species worldwide, with nearly a tenth of them being used for its medicinal qualities. The aim of Victoria pragensis is to emphasize the precious yet fragile cultural heritage of medicinal plants as well as , and theirthe role of greenery in the context of public spaces and contemporary urban design. Its name refers is derived from Victoria amazonica –- the world's largest water lily – first discovered in 1801 by the Czech botanist Thaddaus Haenke Haenke who was the first one to have scientifically described Latin America’s flora to the European audience.
In collaboration with: Amanoriginal (Designblok Award nomination)
Our typical city life predetermines us to spend up to 90% of our time indoors. How can we create the condition to make our lives enjoyable despite being constantly surrounded by four walls? As plants gain more prominence within interiors, Hænke and the Czech design brand Amaoriginal explore the connection between perfect furniture and the function of houseplants in interiors. The plants chosen for the installation are remarkable not only for their medicinal properties but also history and extraordinary uses: some well-known houseplants (monstera, ficus, dracaena) are used in gastronomy in different cultures across the world while popular edible plants (aloe, agave, coconut, pineapple) can become an ideal houseplant thanks to their low maintenance costs. The entire installation is full of contrasts: Instagram minimalism and “plantgang” collides with the joyful decoration à la Memphis Group whose colourful geometric design made headlines in the 1980s, providing inspiration for the likes of Karl Lagerfeld or David Bowie.
We provide green installations to shops, venues, offices, cafés as well as special events such as press conferences, styling for media or arts and performance. Our greenery always comes with a story that unites carefully curated plants with the main concept of each project. Alongside botanical installations, we also provide consultancy in ethnobotany, phytotherapy and horticulture as well as regular maintenance work.
Want to work with us? Let us know!
science and research
strategic partnerships, contact for press
t 776 59 75 76
Hænke Botanical Lab
Prague 3 - Žižkov 130 00
Opening hours: Mo - Fri 13 - 19h