If you think 18' tall flowers can only be the product of your imagination, an acid trip or a sci-fi novel, a visit to Navy Pier in Chicago may change your mind.

As part of the launch of the 2010 Prius, so-called "Solar Flowers" will be on display from August 8 - 22 in the City of Broad Shoulders. The flowers collect energy from the sun with solar panels on the back of their petals and at the base of their stems.

At the bottom of each sculpted plant, there's seating for up to ten people and outlets to recharge cell phones and laptops. The blooms also provide free Wi-Fi access so you won't have to miss a single one of Miley Cyrus' tweets.

The purpose of the interactive exhibit is to promote Toyota's message for the new Prius: "Harmony Between Man, Nature and Machine."

In addition to the flowers, some bus shelters in the downtown area will be fitted with solar powered fans to promote air circulation. The shelters serve as examples of technology available in the Prius, which links solar panels to fans that circulate outside air through the cabin when the car is parked in the sun.

After Chicago, the flower tour continues in Seattle, San Fransisco and L.A.

Source: Toyota via GolinHarris

Press Release:

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  CHICAGO SOLAR FLOWERS BLOOM ON NAVY PIER DISPLAY AUGUST 8 - 22
 
Chicago (August 7, 2009) – “Solar Flowers” reaching up to 18 feet high are blossoming on Chicago’s Navy Pier and not only are they good for reviving spirits, they’re good for reviving computers and cell phones too.

The oversized flower sculptures are partially powered by solar panels on the back of their petals and the base of their stems. Each of the five Solar Flowers provides seating for up to 10 people, access to free Wi-Fi service and power to charge cell phones and laptops. Daily hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The flowers are at the pier August 8 - 22 as part of the launch of the 2010 Toyota Prius and they bring to life the theme: “Harmony Between Man, Nature and Machine.”  The campaign emphasizes the balance the Prius helps strike between the needs of man and nature.

Chicago bus riders also will discover solar ventilation bus shelters spread throughout the downtown area as another part of the “Harmony Installation” campaign.  The special shelters feature solar panels on the roof that help run fans and circulate air within the shelter.  This experience is designed to demonstrate Prius’ available Solar Powered Ventilation System, which uses a fan to draw outside air into the cabin to reduce cabin temperature when the car is parked in direct sunlight.

 “The Prius is an icon, representing what’s possible for the future, said Tim Morrison, corporate manager of marketing communications for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. The Harmony Installation and solar flowers traveling the country are a great representation of the Prius’ eco-friendly technologies and optimistic spirit.  It’s exciting to see how the public has really embraced both the displays and the vehicle.”

After Chicago, the “Harmony Installations” will travel to Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.