Plants

Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History

Author: 
Bill Laws
Publisher: 
Firefly Books
Publication Date: 
2010
ISBN: 
978–1–554–07798–4

Decorated boards, 223 pp., $29.95.

How wonderful are plants! That is the theme of this compilation of stories of the usefulness of 50 remarkable plants. Attractively illustrated, the text contains short essays on plants that provide sustenance, medicine, fragrance, spice, color, clothing, and much more. Lest we forget, the common sweet pea provided the means for establishing the scientific field of genetics. This marvelous collection of tales deserves to be read and enjoyed.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden

 

Volume: 
13
Number: 
4

Flora: A Gardener’s Encyclopedia

Author: 
Sean Hogan (chief consultant)
Publisher: 
Timber Press
Publication Date: 
2003
ISBN: 
0–881–92538–1

cloth, two volumes, 1,584 p., $99.95

Flora: A Gardener’s Encyclopedia is an excellent and comprehensive reference source. With more than 20,000 entries and 11,000 color photographs, this two-volume set goes beyond the typical book of plant lists. By including brief sections on such plant science information as global hardiness zones; plant nomenclature; plant groups; leaf, flower and fruit types as well as a glossary, novice and expert alike can navigate this book with ease.

Volume: 
5
Number: 
6

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses

Author: 
Daniel Chamovitz
Publisher: 
Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: 
2012
ISBN: 
978–0–374–28873–0

paper, 165 pp., $23.00

This interesting book by an Israeli scientist gathers together the latest research on the senses ”sight, sense, feeling, hearing, awareness of place, and memory” as applied to plants. Chamovitz cites well-known studies and explains them in a clear concise fashion.

Volume: 
14
Number: 
4

Perfect Plant Perfect Place

Author: 
Roy Lancaster
Publisher: 
Dorling Kindersley
Publication Date: 
2002
ISBN: 
0-789-48385-8

paper, 448 p., $30

Using his extraordinary knowledge of plant material and placement, Roy Lancaster has selected a group of plants that are most suitable for use in each situation outlined in his new book Perfect Plant Perfect Place. In the course of this work, he improves on his previous efforts, What Plant Where, What Perennial Whereand What Houseplant Where (you see the trend!).

Volume: 
5
Number: 
3

Tough Plants: Unkillable Plants for Every Garden

Author: 
Sharon Amos
Publisher: 
Firefly Books
Publication Date: 
2003
ISBN: 
1-552-97526-6

paper, 144 p., $21.95

Presented in color photographs, this is a guide to more than 100 different plants that have evolved over time to withstand very difficult growing conditions. These plants are truly "unkillable," surviving and even flourishing in sand, salt spray, clay, scorching sun, shade and even rocks. Before the author describes the individual plants in her plant directory, she explains how to analyze a garden site and identify the difficult spots lurking in each garden. She explains with clear instructions how gardeners can make improvements, such as amending the soil.

Subjects: 
Volume: 
5
Number: 
2

The Evolution of Plants

Author: 
K.J. Willis and J.C. McElwain
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 
2002
ISBN: 
0-198-50065-3

paper, 378 p., $40

Calling The Evolution of Plants a paleobotanic textbook would be a disservice to a prospective reader, even though it is a textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Instead, I see it as a magnificent review of recent research in paleobotany, paleogeography, paleoecology and paleoclimatology — all focused on plants. It is an exciting synthesis, with plenty of illustrations, of the history of plants on Earth for the past 430 or so million years.

Subjects: 
Volume: 
4
Number: 
6

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