Of all the extraordinary and obscure plants that have been fermented and distilled, a few are dangerous, some are downright bizarre, and one is as ancient as dinosaurs—but each represents a unique cultural contribution to our global drinking traditions and our history.
This fascinating concoction of biology, chemistry, history, etymology, and mixology—with more than fifty drink recipes and growing tips for gardeners—will make you the most popular guest at any cocktail party.
The book includes the 100 major scientific works published on the common stinging nettle and never brought to the notice of the general public before. The author spent six years studying the ecology of the nettle patch, its invertebrate herbivores (mainly insects) and vertebrate herbivores (cattle, deer, etc.,) and their interactions with other plants: its secret life is recorded in line drawings and photographs (1000+ individual items). It was not possible to publish these in colour but they are in full colour on a CD-ROM (300 dpi) at the back of the book. Covered also are nettle folklore, fibre use in World War I & II, as a food, fodder, herbal medicine, growth as a competitor plant, habitats, sex (unique exploding stamens), breeding systems, variation, evolution etc.!! Some the world's most beautiful butterflies would not exist without nettles.
The Big, Bad Book of Botany introduces a world of wild, wonderful, and weird plants. Some are so rare, they were once more valuable than gold. Some found in ancient mythology hold magical abilities, including the power to turn a person to stone. Others have been used by assassins to kill kings, and sorcerers to revive the dead. Here, too, is vegetation with astonishing properties to cure and heal, many of which have long since been lost with the advent of modern medicine.
Organized alphabetically, The Big, Bad Book of Botany combines the latest in biological information with bizarre facts about the plant kingdom’s oddest members, including a species that is more poisonous than a cobra and a prehistoric plant that actually “walked.” Largo takes you through the history of vegetables and fruits and their astonishing agricultural evolution. Throughout, he reveals astonishing facts, from where the world’s first tree grew to whether plants are telepathic.
Featuring more than 150 photographs and illustrations, The Big, Bad Book of Botany is a fascinating, fun A-to-Z encyclopedia for all ages that will transform the way we look at the natural world.
In Lone Wolf, Maryanne Vollers brings the reader deep inside one of the most sensational cases of domestic terrorism in American history. At the same time, without losing sight of the hideous nature of Rudolph's violent crimes, she successfully puts a human face on an iconic killer while exploring the painful mysteries of the heart.