A Portable Latin for Gardeners: More than 1,500 Essential Plant Names and the Secrets They Contain

University of Chicago Press
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Having an understanding of botanical Latin unlocks an entirely new layer of the plant world. Gardeners deciding between a Crocus flavus and Crocus graveolens will know that one produces deep yellow flowers while the other boasts a prominent smell. They can tell whether a plant should have one (unifolius), two (diphyllus), or even nine leaves (enneaphyllus). And they can catch the nods to Sir Joseph Banks in Cordyline banksia and Queen Victoria in Agave victoriae-reginae.
A Portable Latin for Gardeners is the perfect quick reference for working in the garden, shopping for plants, or doing botanical research—and no prior knowledge of Latin is required. The 1,500 terms are grouped by categories, making it easy to describe color, size, form, habitat, scent, taste, and time. Gardeners will make new connections and discoveries in a way standard alphabetical lists simply don’t allow. Alternately, gardeners who want to look up a particular term can jump right into the alphabetical index. Each entry includes the different forms of the term, a basic pronunciation guide, the definition, and an example plant species.
Rich botanical illustrations make this guide as beautiful as it is useful, while a durable flexi-bound cover means the book can withstand both days in the garden and evenings on the nightstand.
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About the author

James Armitage is the principal botanist with the Royal Horticultural Society. He has worked on several books, including the RHS Plant Finder and the most recent edition of The Hillier Manualof Trees and Shrubs.
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Additional Information

University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Feb 22, 2017
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Best For
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Gardening / General
Gardening / Reference
Reference / General
Science / Life Sciences / Botany
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The book that helped make Michael Pollan, the New York Times bestselling author of Cooked and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, one of the most trusted food experts in America

In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant—though this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?

In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings—and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?

Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.

From the Hardcover edition.
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