Giuseppe Licari




Gallery Hommes, Rotterdam,2017.
Herbarium with 83 different plant species, dried, scanned and printed.
Each: 29,7 x 42 x 1 cm. Inkjet print on archival paper, clip frames.

In the summer of 2015 Giuseppe Licari asked the Municipality of Rotterdam to not mow the grass around the north Westersingel. This non-action was part of an experiment to help the plants inhabiting the grass field to develop and mature. With the support of urban botanist Remko Andeweg from Bureau Stadsnatuur, Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam, 83 different plant species have been identified, dried and digitized to create a herbarium of the Westersingel, a result and testimony of this process.

In the exhibition Diversity! Licari presents the variety of plants that resist the city council’s gardening regime and are ready to emerge and reproduce any time they are given a chance. To the unsuspecting eye a grass field looks simply green, but underneath a fight for survival is going on.

Many thanks to: Remko Andeweg, Kees Moeliker, Cristina Ampatzidou, Kunst in Het Witte de With Kwartier, Romy Finke.


diversiteitSolanum lycopersicum L.
The tomato plant grew out of seeds spread out by someone that was eating a sandwich on the grass lawn. The plant had the chance to grow because the grass wasn’t moved.


diversiteitFestuca rubra - L. Rood
Very fine grass used to create a good and soft green carpet. It exists wild in the Netherlands but it is mainly cultivated in different forms and for different purposes.


diversiteitFallopia convolvulus - (L.) A.Löve


diversiteitAegopodium podagraria - L.
Very common plant, unpleasant to have it in the garden because it colonizes everything reducing drastically biodiversity.

  diversiteitAlianthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle
It’s a tree from Eastern Asia, brought to Europe as ornamental plant. It began to spread by itself in the southeast of Europe and slowly climbed up to the north Rheine region. The border of this colonization was quite linked to the changing of the temperature. With the constant rising of the temperature the tree has spread towards the northwest Europe. Nowadays it’s very common to find it in the Netherlands.

diversiteitPrunella vulgaris L.
It is a plant able to flower at an height of 6-7 centimeters but in its natural conditions can grow up to 50 cm. Prunella is not specifically a lawn plant but it can adopt rather good. You can often find it in older lawns. It is a plant that doesn’t like rich soils but rather a lawn that after a long period of time has reached chemical equilibrium. During this period the plant adapts to the cutting regime and transforms itself into a smaller one. It is visible in the summer as red patches on the grass lawns.


diversiteitSenecio inaequidens DC.
Originally from South Africa this plant was introduced with wool in Belgium. By river it spreads to south Limburg, and from there was transported by the railway system all over the country. The first plant was discovered in Amsterdam Central Station, on the place where the trains from Maastricht arrived. In the 1970s the plant was flowering from September-October till the beginning of the winter. Nowadays it begins to flower in May and keeps flowering until the winter comes. It became genetically different from the original one in South Africa.