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When did the British Government become the world's largest drugs pusher? What tree is frequently used to treat cancer? Which everyday condiment is the most widely traded spice on the planet? Plants are an indispensable part of our everyday life. From the coffee bush and grass for cattle which give us milk for our cappuccinos to the rubber tree which produces tyres for our cars, our lives are inextricably linked to the world of plants. Taking us on a chronological journey, Stephen Harris identifies fifty plants that have been key to the development of the Western world, discussing trade, politics, medicine, travel and chemistry along the way. Plants have provided paper and ink, chemicals that could kill or cure, vital sustenance and stimulants. Some, such as barley, have been staples from earliest times; others, such as oil palm, are newcomers to Western industry. Moreover, with time, uses change: beets, which have been used variously as a treatment for leprosy, source of sugar and animal feed, are now showing potential as biofuels. What may the future hold for mandrake or woad? We remain dependent on plants for our food, our fuel and our medicines. Their effects on our lives, as the stories in this wide-ranging and engaging book demonstrate, continue to be profound, and often unpredictable.
_________________ 'BRITAIN'S FINEST LIVING NATURE WRITER' - THE TIMES WINNER OF THE THWAITES WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2015 What really goes on in the long grass? Meadowland gives an unique and intimate account of an English meadow's life from January to December, together with its biography. In exquisite prose, John Lewis-Stempel records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-cutting of summer and grazing in autumn, and includes the biographies of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren,the skylark brood and the curlew pair, among others. Their births, lives, and deaths are stories that thread through the book from first page to last.
Looking for a faster, easier, and engaging way to identify plants? Related plants have similar characteristics, and they often have similar uses. Rather than learning new plants one-at-a-time, it is possible to learn them by the hundreds, based on plant family patterns.
A manual for opening the doors of perception and directly engaging
the intelligence of the Natural World
The glorious colours and the diversity of shapes of Alpine plants delight every alpinist and hiker. Those who take time to look closer at the plants and their dwellings will be rewarded with the discovery of the interesting relationships between plants and their environment, and will enjoy their ever varying appearance and multitude of forms. This SAC guidebook helps the reader to understand the diverse aspects of plant life in the Alps. It also answers questions such as: which faraway lands the Alpine plants come from? Why is the plant cover near Zermatt different from that high up at the foot of the Eiger? How do some Alpine plants still manage to grow above 12.000 ft, when others do not even reach the treeline? To help the recognition of species, the book has 480 colour photographs, mostly taken in their natural invironment. In addition, about 75 species are presented in ink drawings. A practical fieldguide for amateur botanists, it is also an important reference work for all those with an interest in alpine plants as well as for students.
Jan Hendrix is a Dutch-born, Mexico-based contemporary artist. His work is all about observation and analysis; nature and its diff erent ways of representing and telling extended stories, often in a non- linear narrative. Based on an exhibition at Kew Gardens, this book is a visual report of Hendrix's multiple visits to the Kamay Botany Bay Area of New South Wales, Australia, made over a 20-year period. Beautiful and thought-provoking works convey his response to the fragile, changing landscape, under constant threat of fi re and destruction. His work also draws on first collections of plants at Kamay Botany Bay documented by botanists Joseph Banks, Daniel Solander and Sydney Parkinson as part of the HMS Endeavour expedition in 1770. Supporting texts by Art Historian Dawn Ades, CEO of the Bundanon Trust Deborah Ely, and filmmaker Michael Leggett contextualise the work of the artist. With a foreword by Kew Director Richard Deverell.
These natural history guides have been developed in the hope that young people and anyone with a budding interest in natural history will take up the challenge to learn the secrets of southern Africa's fascinating fauna and flora.
These little guides are an invaluable resource for the beginner, providing information at a glance through superb photographs, maps and easy-to-read text.
Visitors to these islands in search of sun and sea are often surprised by theglorious wild flowers, abundant particularly in the spring and late autumn.Many are curious to know more about them.This book offers a means of identification on three levels.For the complete beginner there are illustrations of most of the more strikingwild plants (and of a few cultivated ones).For those who wish to go further, there is help in the form of a botanical key (abasic skill for would-be botanists, and what better place, than a sunny holidayisland to learn it in).For those who already have this skill here is a key to all the wild floweringplants ( except those waiting to be discovered - what a challenge for aninteresting holiday!).
From one of our greatest science writers, this biography of a beech-and-bluebell wood through diverse moods and changing seasons combines stunning natural history with the ancient history of the countryside to tell the full story of the British landscape. Guided by his abiding love of nature and a lifetime of scientific expertise, Richard Fortey takes us on a journey through ecosystems and time. The Wood for the Trees is the story of humankind meeting nature, an homage to the mesmerising interactions between flora, fauna and fungi. Discover the lives of animals and plants; the passage of seasons; visits by fellow enthusiasts; the play of light between branches; the influence of geology; and how woodland has shaped history, architecture, and industry. On every page Fortey shows how an intimate study of one small wood can reveal so much about the natural world, and demonstrates his relish for the incomparable pleasures of discovery.
It has comprehensive information on all the main species of tree and written in an easy to use and accessible style by an Arch-druidess.This book contains all the practical information you need to identify each tree as it changes throughout the year and includes:comprehensive physical and descriptions and botanical informationthe legends and myths surrounding each treethe healing powers and magical properties of the individual tree
With gorgeous full-colour photos arranged in an easy-to-use colour coded chart for quick identification, the pocket-sized format is perfect for taking along on walks and hikes through both the Pacific Northwest countryside as well as the urban wilds of West Coast cities. Supplying English and Latin names, the distribution range of each species and average plant height and flower size, Phillipa Hudson shares her knowledge of coast flora gained through over 30 years as an active amateur botanist.
Aloes are the flagship plants of Africa, vividly defining the landscapes in which they occur.
In garden settings, these stately succulent plants capture the allure of the African savanna and serve as excellent focus plants around which other indigenous plants can be successfully grouped.
Aloes in Southern Africa explores the character and biology of African aloes, describing their habits, characteristic features and distribution in nature. It also details 58 aloe and related species across several vegetation zones.
Aloe cultivation and propagation is discussed too, providing insight into optimum growing conditions, gardening styles and plants that flourish in different regions.
A feature on medicinal, cosmetic and culinary uses reveals the special properties of these intriguing plants. Whether you are starting a garden, redeveloping one or simply looking to expand your knowledge of these fascinating succulents, Aloes in Southern Africa will prove an invaluable guide.
Plants and Habitats combines the species and habitat approaches to plants and vegetation. Most of it is an identification guide to 700 plant species selected as those which are common, conspicuous or useful ecological indicators; species which collectively make up most of the vegetation in Britain and Ireland. There is also a separate habitats section describing the flora, ecology and management of habitats. With this combination of approaches Plants and Habitats aims to help people understand our vegetation at all scales, from individual plants to whole landscapes. The structure and plain English writing style are designed to help with species identification by non-specialists.Plants and Habitats is illustrated throughout with colour photos and some line drawings. For those working with habitat classifications, National Vegetation Classification (NVC) codes are incorporated throughout and there are summary tables cross-referencing various classifications. The book is written for a wide readership including those working or training in subjects connected with ecology, conservation, land management, and other environmental matters.
This magnificent compendium is the fourth in a series of catalogues describing selections of rare books and other material in the Oak Spring Garden Library, a collection assembled by Mrs. Rachel "Bunny" Lambert Mellon. Herbaria describes sixty-three books and manuscripts about herbs and includes exquisite illustrations selected from the works themselves. Spanning the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries, and featuring works by Brunfels, Culpeper, Monardes, and Linnaeus, among others, this authoritative catalogue will prove fascinating to botanists, bibliophiles, garden historians, and herbalists alike.
George C. West provides a simple and quick guide written especially for amateur plant lovers, nature enthusiasts, interested hikers, tourists, and botanists who want to learn more about the plants of the White Mountains in east-central Arizona. The book is neatly organized into three parts, which include woody trees; all other annual, biennial, and perennial flowers, shrubs, and vines; and ferns. This useful guide is written in accessible Language that makes it easy to identify over five hundred plant species found in the region. More than a thousand incredible color photographs of flowers, leaves, and other features provide nuanced detail that helps the reader differentiate various species of flowering plants, trees, and ferns. Guide to the Plants of Arizona's White Mountains is a must-have reference for all outdoor enthusiasts exploring this popular region of the Southwest.
After the concise and informative descriptions of the structure of grasses and their flowers, there are lists of grasses for various habitats, followed by a key to grasses in flower. It provides excellent scientific illustrations of the major grasses found in the UK and information on the preferred conditions for each grass.
A practical guide to all aspects of edible wild plants: finding and identifying them, their seasons of harvest, and their methods of collection and preparation. Each plant is discussed in great detail and accompanied by excellent color photographs. Includes an index, illustrated glossary, bibliography, and harvest calendar. The perfect guide for all experience levels.
Trees are all around, but how much do you know about them? With this famous field guide by award-winning author and naturalist Stan Tekiela, you can make tree identification simple, informative and productive. Learn about 117 Pennsylvania trees, organized in the book by leaf type and attachment. Fact-filled information contains the particulars that you want to know, while full-page photos provide the visual detail needed for accurate identification. Trees are fascinating and wonderful, and this is the perfect introduction to them.
How does the daisy express love? What did the heliotrope mean in the time of ancient Greece? Why do Christians associate the holly with Jesus? In Japan, what does the chrysanthemum embody? Why is the lily the representation of the Virgin Mary? How did the poppy end up being associated with sleep? Why was the hydrangea a symbol of betrayal for samurais? Since when does the narcissus embody vanity? This little book, illustrated with with beautiful retro-colour plates, explains in detail the symbolism held by 84 different flowers all over the world.
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