At the end of the 18th century, Prince Frederick commissioned the 1800-piece Flora Danica dinner service, skillfully decorated with plants from the Danish flora. Biodiversity, craftsmanship, nationalism and power in one service. My contemporary service, Flora invasiva, has been carefully decorated with invasive plants instead. The tableware was part of an exhibition at Växjö konsthall in spring 2021. The exhibition was called Conversation piece and was created in dialog with archaeologist and ceramicist Katarina Botwid. Each of us designed a table setting that stood in strong contrast to each other. The tablecloths were interactive and populated during the exhibition with food, conversations and guests.
The Himalayan balsam is one of our most problematic invasive species. It forms dense stands competing for space and sunlight. It spreads by means of seeds that are thrown out explosively. It also competes for pollinators through its strong scent. Like most invasive species, Himalayan balsam is deliberately introduced by humans. First as a garden plant but also as a food plant for bees.