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Peter H. Raven
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"The history of plants and flowers."
Botanical paintings and fascinating essays are combined in Plant Discoveries to examine the fascinating history of plants and flowers. Over 20 plant families are profiled including cacti, daffodils, iris, magnolia, poppies, roses, tulips, conifers, hibiscus, palms and waterlilies.
Throughout history, plants have dramatically affected the lives of individuals and society as a whole. Holland's infamous tulip craze is now legend. The 17th century spice trade was so profitable that stevedores who unloaded nutmeg from the boats were obliged to wear coveralls without pockets since only a few nutmegs were worth a fortune.
The natural history of the plants themselves is an engrossing topic. The book suggests that plants take a more active role in their survival than commonly assumed. It discusses how plants have adopted remarkable strategies for survival in a variety of harsh habitats. One such plant is the dead horse arum -- a putrid-smelling plant that adapted to compete with dead birds to attract pollinating carrion flies.
Plants that gardeners now take for granted once could only be found in remote and hostile regions. Plant Discoveries tells the fascinating story of the adventurous botanist explorers who braved disease, slave traders, war, jungles and other dangers to collect plants now commonly grown in our own backyards.
These pages are graced with hundreds of stunning color illustrations selected from the vast collection of botanical paintings archived at the Natural History Museum, London. Plant Discoveries is an exciting voyage of discovery and a must-have volume for lovers of art, botany, and adventure.
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