The Reason for Flowers

Author: Stephen Buchmann
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476755531
Format: PDF
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An exploration of the roles flowers play in the production of our foods, spices, medicines, and perfumes reveals their origins, myriad shapes, colors, textures and scents, bizarre sex lives, and how humans-- and the natural world-- relate and depend upon them.

The Reason for Flowers

Author: Stephen Buchmann
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476755523
Format: PDF, ePub
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Cultural history at its best—the engaging, lively, and definitive story of the beauty, sexuality, ecology, myths, lore, and economics of the world’s flowers, written by a passionately devoted author and scientist, and illustrated with his stunning photographs. Flowers, and the fruits that follow, feed, clothe, sustain, and inspire all humanity. They have done so since before recorded history. Flowers are used to celebrate all-important occasions, to express love, and are also the basis of global industries. Americans buy ten million flowers a day and perfumes are a worldwide industry worth $30 billion dollars annually. Yet, we know little about flowers, their origins, bizarre sex lives, or how humans relate and depend upon them. Stephen Buchmann takes us along on an exploratory journey of the roles flowers play in the production of our foods, spices, medicines, perfumes, while simultaneously bringing joy and health. Flowering plants continue to serve as inspiration in our myths and legends, in the fine and decorative arts, and in literary works of prose and poetry. Flowers seduce us—and animals, too—through their myriad shapes, colors, textures, and scents. And because of our extraordinary appetite for more unusual and beautiful “super flowers,” plant breeders have created such unnatural blooms as blue roses and black petunias to cater to the human world of haute couture fashion. In so doing, the nectar and pollen vital to the bees, butterflies, and bats of the world, are being reduced. Buchmann explains the unfortunate consequences, and explores how to counter them by growing the right flowers. Here, he integrates fascinating stories about the many colorful personalities who populate the world of flowers, and the flowers and pollinators themselves, with a research-based narrative that illuminates just why there is, indeed, a Reason for Flowers.

The Reason for Flowers

Author: Stephen Buchmann
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 147675554X
Format: PDF, Docs
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“Fascinating...Buchmann’s knowledge and enthusiasm jump off the page.” —The Wall Street Journal “An extraordinarily good book.” —Edward O. Wilson The lively and definitive story of the beauty, sexuality, lore, economics, and ecology of the world ’s flowers, written by a devoted scientist and illustrated with his stunning photographs. Flowers—and the fruits they often become—feed, clothe, and inspire us. Indeed, they have done so for all of human history. Yet although we use flowers to celebrate important occasions, to express love, and to please our senses, we know little about them, their functions in nature, or even how we depend on them. In a volume that will delight gardeners, naturalists, cooks, artists, or anyone interested in history or culture, pollination ecologist Stephen Buchmann serves as an expert guide through the fascinating world of flowers. He explains how other species relate to flowers in ways crucial to the natural world. Next he takes us on an engaging exploration of the roles flowers play in the production of food, spices, medicines, and perfumes. Flowering plants, Buchmann then shows, have long served as inspirational themes in art and literature. Flowers have in fact so thoroughly seduced us that we now buy some ten million a day, driving breeders to create infinite varieties and unusual blooms. In this cultural and natural investigation of floral history, Stephen Buchmann’s masterful narrative illuminates just why there is, indeed, a reason for flowers.

The Culture of Flowers

Author: Jack Goody
Publisher: CUP Archive
ISBN: 9780521414418
Format: PDF, Docs
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An analysis of the symbolic and transactional uses of flowers in secular life and religious ritual from ancient Egypt to modern times.

Honey Bees

Author: Stephen Buchmann
Publisher: Ember
ISBN: 0385737718
Format: PDF, ePub
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Introduces the intricate world of honeybees, revealing the myriad functions of hives, the fundamental link between bees and humans, and pressing environmental concerns.

The Lotus Quest

Author: Mark Griffiths
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1429964529
Format: PDF, Docs
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A captivating history of one of the world's most iconic and mysterious flowers Bewitched by a lotus which flowered from three-thousandyear- old seeds in his English garden, Mark Griffiths set out to track the origins and significance of this sublime plant in this beautifully-illustrated book. The Lotus Quest takes Griffiths from the headquarters of the Linnaean Society in London to a mountain top in northern Japan. As he travels in search of this ancient flower, Griffiths looks at the lotus's significance in ancient Egypt and India, the plant's medicinal uses and the inspiration it has provided to Western artists. As he tracks the plant, its story unveils a stunning vision of Japan's feudal era with visits to shrines, ruins, gardens and wild landscapes as well as meetings with priests and archaeologists, philosophers and anthropologists, gardeners and botanists, poets and artists. He even dines on the lotus in a Tokyo cafe. By the end of Griffiths' journey, when he reaches the hauntingly beautiful Japanese temple of Chuson-ji, readers will finally understand why the lotus has obsessed people throughout the ages.

The Triumph of Seeds

Author: Thor Hanson
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465048722
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"The genius of Hanson's fascinating, inspiring, and entertaining book stems from the fact that it is not about how all kinds of things grow from seeds; it is about the seeds themselves." --Mark Kurlansky, New York Times Book Review We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life: supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and pepper drove the Age of Discovery, coffee beans fueled the Enlightenment and cottonseed sparked the Industrial Revolution. Seeds are fundamental objects of beauty, evolutionary wonders, and simple fascinations. Yet, despite their importance, seeds are often seen as commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more. This is a book of knowledge, adventure, and wonder, spun by an award-winning writer with both the charm of a fireside story-teller and the hard-won expertise of a field biologist. A fascinating scientific adventure, it is essential reading for anyone who loves to see a plant grow.

The Cabaret of Plants Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination

Author: Richard Mabey
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393248771
Format: PDF
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"Highly entertaining…Without being sentimental about it, Mr. Mabey gets us to look at life from the plants' point of view. His science is sound, he's witty, and his language is engaging." —Constance Casey, New York Times The Cabaret of Plants is a masterful, globe-trotting exploration of the relationship between humans and the kingdom of plants by the renowned naturalist Richard Mabey. A rich, sweeping, and wonderfully readable work of botanical history, The Cabaret of Plants explores dozens of plant species that for millennia have challenged our imaginations, awoken our wonder, and upturned our ideas about history, science, beauty, and belief. Going back to the beginnings of human history, Mabey shows how flowers, trees, and plants have been central to human experience not just as sources of food and medicine but as objects of worship, actors in creation myths, and symbols of war and peace, life and death. Writing in a celebrated style that the Economist calls “delightful and casually learned,” Mabey takes readers from the Himalayas to Madagascar to the Amazon to our own backyards. He ranges through the work of writers, artists, and scientists such as da Vinci, Keats, Darwin, and van Gogh and across nearly 40,000 years of human history: Ice Age images of plant life in ancient cave art and the earliest representations of the Garden of Eden; Newton’s apple and gravity, Priestley’s sprig of mint and photosynthesis, and Wordsworth’s daffodils; the history of cultivated plants such as maize, ginseng, and cotton; and the ways the sturdy oak became the symbol of British nationhood and the giant sequoia came to epitomize the spirit of America. Complemented by dozens of full-color illustrations, The Cabaret of Plants is the magnum opus of a great naturalist and an extraordinary exploration of the deeply interwined history of humans and the natural world.

Gathering Moss

Author: Robin Wall Kimmerer
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780870714993
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world. Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.