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Southern Africa has possibly the most beautiful and diverse floral kingdom in the world, but it is also the most polluted and threatened.
Plants form a fundamental element of the biosphere, and the evolution of plants has directly affected the evolution of animal life and the evolution of the Earth's climate. Plants have also become essential to humans not only in the form of cereal crops, fruit, and vegetables, but in their many other uses in wood and paper, and in providing medicines. Their aesthetic importance too in our parks and gardens as well as in wildflower meadows and great forests should not be underestimated. In this Very Short Introduction Timothy Walker, Director of the Botanical Gardens in Oxford, provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the need and efforts for their conservation for future generations. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Back in print just in time for spring! Originally published in 1948, this is the germinal text on nearly 250 species of spring wildflowers found in West Virginia. Common or English names and scientific or Latin names are given for each species. The descriptions are in two sections: The first description includes the meaning of the name of the flower, uses, habitats, and ranges in West Virginia. Secondly, the plant itself is described in deep detail to help in identification. Each description is accompanied by a facing page detailed line drawing. This book is a must have for those interested in the beauty and science of West Virginia's spring flora.
Winner of the National Arbor Day Foundation's Media Award "Enduring Roots is beautifully written; always engaging, often lyrical. The research underlying the stories is impressive. . . . Samuels presents her stories in their historical roundness rather than spinning yarns from a few selected bits of evidence, as landscape history sometimes does. This is a competent and compelling work that encourages us to make moral choices about which stories we take to heart."-The Journal of American History Trees are the grandest and most beautiful plant creations on earth. From their shade-giving, arching branches and strikingly diverse bark to their complex root systems, trees represent shelter, stability, place, and community as few other living objects can. Enduring Roots tells the stories of historic American trees, including the oak, the apple, the cherry, and the oldest of the world's trees, the bristlecone pine. These stories speak of our attachment to the land, of our universal and eternal need to leave a legacy, and demonstrate that the landscape is a gift, to be both received and, sometimes, tragically, to be destroyed. Each chapter of this book focuses on a specific tree or group of trees and its relationship to both natural and human history, while exploring themes of community, memory, time, and place. Readers learn that colonial farmers planted marker trees near their homes to commemorate auspicious events like the birth of a child, a marriage, or the building of a house. They discover that Benjamin Franklin's Newtown Pippin apples were made into a pie aboard Captain Cook's Endeavour while the ship was sailing between Tahiti and New Zealand. They are told the little-known story of how the Japanese flowering cherry became the official tree of our nation's capital-a tale spanning many decades and involving an international cast of characters. Taken together, these and many other stories provide us with a new ways to interpret the American landscape. Gayle Brandow Samuels is an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches in the Masters of Environmental Studies Program. She is the principal author of Women in the City of Brotherly Love . . . And Beyond.
The plant world of the Mediterranean region is remarkable for its great diversity of species and forms. This user-friendly pocket nature guide is organized by colour to help identify over 500 commonly seen flowers, shrubs, trees, grasses and ferns. Detailed descriptions give the common and scientific names as well as the flowering time. They also provide information on characteristic features, occurrence and distribution.As an extra at-a-glance aid over 45 eye-catching ornamental plants are featured on the flaps.The book covers every country with a Mediterranean coastline, including France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco
Orchids are beloved for their singular, instantly recognisable beauty. Jim Endersby offers a unique cultural history of this captivating family of plants, revealing their allure and wonder. Following the stories of orchids throughout history, Endersby divides our attraction to them into four key themes: science, empire, sex, and death. He explores how these have shaped orchids and how orchids, in return, have shaped our own investigations and associations. When it comes to empire, for instance, orchids are a prime example of the exotic riches sought by Europeans as they shaped their plans for colonisation. Endersby also reveals how Charles Darwin's theory of evolution became intimately entangled with the story of the orchid as he investigated their methods of cross-pollination. As Endersby shows, orchids, perhaps because of their extraordinarily diverse colours, shapes, and sizes have also bloomed repeatedly in films, novels, plays, and poems, from Shakespeare to science fiction, from hard-boiled thrillers to elaborate modernist novels. Featuring many stunning illustrations from the Kew archives, Orchid: A Cultural History tells, for the first time, the extraordinary story of orchids and our prolific interest in them. It is a tale sure to enchant not only gardeners and plant collectors, but anyone curious about the flower's obsessive hold on the imagination in history, cinema, literature, and more.
This spectacular and informative guide features 278 wildflowers found in the meadows, woods, dunes, shores, and wetlands of Michigan. Each stunning photograph is coupled with a detailed plant description, including scientific and family names, habitat, growing season, and protected status. Michigan Wildflowers also features a wildflower quiz and a guide to eight of Michigan's most accessible and diverse wildflower trails, including Fernwood, Grass River Natural Area, and the Ninga Aki Pathway. Invaluable to nature lovers, this beautiful and practical book is essential for anyone who enjoys the wealth of wildflowers Michigan has to offer. At the beginning of Michigan Wildflowers in Color, the author has illustrated textual terms such as 'stipules' or 'basal leaves' with a collection of line drawings. The plant descriptions include location, seasonal display, height, and information on whether the flower is protected and should not be picked or moved. The flower photographs are grouped by color for ease of location and then listed in the order in which they appear during the growing season. There are generally six photographs to a page, with the text on the facing page. There is a quiz at the back of the book to test your 'flower power, plus an 'Observer's List' to keep track of the flowers you do find. Also, the author has also mapped out eight wildflower trails in various Michigan habitats, plus the seasonal species of flowers that can be found there.
The Helford River, Cornwall is a place of wonder and delight: one of the very few places in England where ancient woodland meets the sea. "This is oak country, and the oaks have that surprising variety of size and shape that only Cornwall and Devon oaks can offer. Smooth wooded hillsides, subtly mottled with the different greens or browns of individual oak-trees, sweep down to high-water mark." So begins Oliver Rackham's book covering 25 woods, predominantly in the north of the Lizard peninsula, including: Bonallack, Calamansack, Devichoys, Grambla, Gweek, Merthen, Reskymmer, Trelowarren, Tremayne and Treverry. He brings to life the curious industrial and cultural history of this unique area, and shows how these woods have survived and what the future may have in store. Illustrated throughout with photographs, maps and diagrams, this forms the second volume in the regional series The Ancient Woodlands of Britain. This book is published in collaboration with the Woodland Trust.
This informative field guide covers the wildflowers of the entire Appalachian region, which stretches from Quebec to northern Alabama, encompassing the Catskills of New York, the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, and many mountain ranges in between. Using this book, readers will learn to identify this region's wildflowers by shape, color, family, and habitat.
Ecologist and botanist Thomas E. Hemmerly encourages us to "read the landscape" in order to learn about plants' habitats, distribution, and use. In his brief, introductory chapters, he describes ecosystems such as mountain forests and wetlands to provide a context for the information on individual plant species that will be valuable to both professional scientists and amateur naturalists.
Practical: The 378 color plates, grouped by color for clear reference, appear alongside plant descriptions for ease of identification.Informative: Each entry includes a description of the plant's habitat, abundance, and geographical distribution, along with information about its ethnobotanical, economic, or medicinal uses. An appendix lists and describes the best places in the Appalachians for "botanizing."User-Friendly: Diagrams of leaf and flower shapes are a further aide to plant identification.The Appalachian Region: Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Quebec, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia
Once upon a time--before the 1860s--people loved old roses like "Pearl of Gold," "Marchionesse of Lorne," or "Autumn Damask." Then along came the hybrid tea roses, which were easier to arrange, more dramatic, and longer-blooming, and the old roses were all but forgotten. Now the lovely, subtle-hued, richly perfumed old roses are making a comeback, thanks to the efforts of a stubborn band of eccentric characters who rescued them from back alleys, ramshackle cottages, and overgrown graveyards across the country. Thomas Christopher tells us the fascinating stories of the old roses--how they were created and made their way to America--and the unforgettable people who "rustle" them from abandoned lots and secret gardens today, revelling in the mystery of an "unknown yellow."
Lab Girl is a book about work and about love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren's remarkable stories: about the discoveries she has made in her lab, as well as her struggle to get there; about her childhood playing in her father's laboratory; about how lab work became a sanctuary for both her heart and her hands; about Bill, the brilliant, wounded man who became her loyal colleague and best friend; about their field trips - sometimes authorised, sometimes very much not - that took them from the Midwest across the USA, to Norway and to Ireland, from the pale skies of North Pole to tropical Hawaii; and about her constant striving to do and be her best, and her unswerving dedication to her life's work. Visceral, intimate, gloriously candid and sometimes extremely funny, Jahren's descriptions of her work, her intense relationship with the plants, seeds and soil she studies, and her insights on nature enliven every page of this thrilling book. In Lab Girl, we see anew the complicated power of the natural world, and the power that can come from facing with bravery and conviction the challenge of discovering who you are.
Learn more about the beautiful trees around you with this identification guide, perfect for beginners, featuring over 150 common British and European species. If you want to know the difference between a Serbian spruce and a silver birch or how different trees change through the seasons then What's that Tree? is the ideal guide for you. Species overviews show you what to look for where and related trees are shown side by side for quick comparison and identification. Clear photography of leaves will help you to directly compare the tree you're looking at with those in the guide and will assist you with specific features of the leaf to help identify the tree. This quick-reference guide also includes information on bark, flowers, and seeds. The perfect pocket guide for beginners but also a handy reference for the more seasoned naturalist, What's that Tree? will help you to become an expert tree-spotter in no time.
Mushrooms are popping up everywhere! On restaurant menus, in grocery aisles, at local farmer's markets, and not just the ubiquitous white buttons we've seen for years. What once were exotic are now almost commonplace -- shiitake, chanterelle, cremini, enoki, the list grows longer every year. Understanding how mushrooms grow is crucial to successfully cultivating them, and Mushroom Cultivation offers comprehensive instruction both on how mushrooms grow and how you can cultivate them yourself to enrich your soil, speed up your composting, and even to suppress weeds. Some cultivate mushrooms for medicinal use or make them into teas and tinctures. After reading Mushroom Cultivation, you'll discover that growing a mushroom is really no more difficult than growing a tomato. You just need a slightly different set of skills.
A fascinating look at the myths, folklore and botany behind over 70 British wildflowers. From hedgerows to meadows, wildflowers can be found throughout our green and pleasant land. In this book, journalist and garden writer Rosamond Richardson traces the history and myths behind each flower to discover the fascinating ways in which the plants were used. Discover which flower used as a medieval lie-detector to test the innocence of suspected criminals, or stuffed in the shoes of Roman centurions to prevent damage to their feet as they marched. From periwinkles, beloved of Chaucer, and the oxlips and `nodding violet' growing in the forest of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the book celebrates the important role wildflowers have played in literature, as well as their uses in food and medicine, and the history, myths and tales behind each species. The nineteenth-century poet John Clare wrote, `I love wildflowers (none are weeds with me)'. This book is a celebration of the bountiful history behind Britain's beloved wildflowers and is perfect for anyone with an interest in gardening, history or the natural world.
This complete beginner's guide to painting trees and woodlands is ideal if you want to learn to paint but are short on time. 30 quick and easy exercises, that each take no more than 30 minutes, offer you a complete course teaching all the skills you need to paint trees on their own and as part of beautiful woodland scenes. The 30-minute paintings are all worked at postcard size - ideal for a 6" x 4" (A6) watercolour pad, and outline drawings are provided on tracing paper for those who are less confident at drawing. Each of the small paintings focuses on a specific subject or technique and is a work of art in its own right. Store them in your portfolio as an easy reference for future painting projects, or even frame them and display them on the wall to impress your family and friends. The final section of the book contains three complete paintings that demonstrate how to combine everything you've learned in the previous exercises. These paintings are also accompanied by actual-size tracings.
A recent rise in the popularity of urban farming, farmers' markets, and foraging from nature means more people are looking for information about plants. In The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants, botanists Lytton John Musselman and Harold J. Wiggins coach you on how to safely identify, gather, and prepare delicious dishes from readily available plants-and clearly indicate which ones to avoid. More than 200 color illustrations, accompanied by detailed descriptions, will help you recognize edible plants such as nettles, daylilies, river oats, and tearthumbs. For decades, Musselman and Wiggins have taught courses on how to prepare local plants, and their field-to-table recipes require only a few, easily found ingredients. They offer instructions for making garlic powder out of field garlic and turning acorns into flour for Rappahannock Acorn Cakes. To toast your new skill, they even include recipes for cordials. The Quick Guide to Wild Edible Plants is a great gift for the beginning naturalist and the perfect addition to every serious forager's library.
Trying to understand the wonders and mysteries of the natural world has been a human preoccupation since the earliest times. Myriad myths and legends have subsequently evolved to explain the existence and power of our fertile planet. At the same time, the knowledge of which plants to use as essential foods, remedies, and for construction was of obvious importance, not only to learn but also to pass on and remember. It is therefore hardly surprising that from all corners of the globe a wealth of stories, myths and legends about plants has been passed down to us, gathered together in this fascinating volume. Here you will discover sound principles in some of the traditional advice, and wisdom in many of the observations of the plant world. However there are also highly fanciful superstitions, intriguing tales and amusing anecdotes, which any plant lover will truly relish. Discover which trees are believed to have healing powers? How, in legend, the white rose turn red? Why the lily is a symbol of purity? Any why is it considered unlucky to bring some flowers indoors?
The Great Lakes Nature Set offers the best in wildlife and plant identification for this beautiful region. Our three popular Pocket Naturalist Guides to the Great Lakes - Trees & Wildflowers, Birds, and Wildlife - are attractively packaged and value-priced for savings when purchased as a set. Highlighting over 300 species of animals and plants, these beautifully illustrated guides include ecoregion maps that feature prominent wildlife-viewing areas and botanical sanctuaries. Laminated for durability, Pocket Naturalist Guides are lightweight, pocket-sized sources of information and ideal for field use by natural science and outdoor recreation professionals, nature lovers, and visitors to the Great Lakes region. Made in the USA.
The West Virginia Nature Set offers the best in wildlife and plant identification for The Mountain State. The set includes three Pocket Naturalist Guides to West Virginia -- Trees & Wildflowers, Birds, and Wildlife -- and is attractively packaged in a cellophane bag. The beautifully illustrated folding guides highlight well over 300 familiar and unique species and include ecoregion maps featuring prominent wildlife-viewing areas and botanical sanctuaries. Laminated for durability, Pocket Naturalist Guides are lightweight, pocket-sized sources of portable information and ideal for field use by novices and experts alike. Made in the USA.
This is the definitive botanic guide to the wetlands, woodlands, coastlines, hills, and valleys of the beautiful and diverse San Francisco Bay Region. For this extensively revised and redesigned third edition of Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region, the identification keys have been thoroughly updated to include 21 new families, 155 new species, and approximately 330 changes in the scientific names, ensuring that this popular book will continue to be the most comprehensive and authoritative identification guide to the region's native and introduced plants. - Easy-to-use keys describe more than 2,000 species of wild flowers, trees, shrubs, ferns, and weeds. - Hundreds of line drawings and color photographs support accurate identification. - Plants are identified by both common and scientific names, making this guide an essential resource for amateur naturalists, students, and professionals.
Thomas Pakenham's beautifully illustrated, bestselling book of tree portraits. With this astonishing collection, Thomas Pakenham produced a new kind of tree book. The arrangement owes little to conventional botany. The sixty trees are grouped according to their own strong personalities: Natives, Travellers, Shrines, Fantasies and Survivors. From the ancient native trees, many of which are huge and immeasurably old, to the exotic newcomers from Europe, the East and North America, MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE TREES captures the history and beauty of these entrancing living structures. Common to all these trees is their power to inspire awe and wonder. This is a lovingly researched book, beautifully illustrated with colour photographs, engravings and maps - a moving testimonial to the Earth`s largest and oldest living structures.
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