The Big, Bad Book of Botany: The World's Most Fascinating Flora

Overview

An entertaining and enlightening compendium of the world's most amazing and bizarre plants, revealing their secrets, history, and lore

What happens when you give a plant a polygraph test? Can a flower really turn a human into a zombie? What gives the gingko tree its stink? The Big, Bad Book of Botany holds the incredible answers to all of these questions and more. From absinthe to zubrowka (a popular ingredient in Polish vodkas), Michael Largo takes you through the historical ...

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The Big, Bad Book of Botany: The World's Most Fascinating Flora

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This item will be available on August 5, 2014.
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Overview

An entertaining and enlightening compendium of the world's most amazing and bizarre plants, revealing their secrets, history, and lore

What happens when you give a plant a polygraph test? Can a flower really turn a human into a zombie? What gives the gingko tree its stink? The Big, Bad Book of Botany holds the incredible answers to all of these questions and more. From absinthe to zubrowka (a popular ingredient in Polish vodkas), Michael Largo takes you through the historical and agricultural evolution of hundreds of plant species, revealing astonishing facts along the way. You'll be introduced to magic mushrooms, superfoods, and toxic teas. You'll learn about plants so valuable they have started international wars, so evolved they can trick animals into helping them survive, and so deadly a single taste of one will kill you. Featuring more than one hundred and forty illustrations, this fascinating and fun A-to-Z encyclopedia for all ages will transform the way you look at the natural world.

Did you know?

  • The word hashish comes from the Arabic hashshashin, the name for a group of Persian assassins who were given the drug to clam their nerves before each assignment.
  • The fossil of the oldest-known tree to have thrived on the planet was found in New York's Catskill Mountains, and dates back to more than 360 million years ago.
  • The avocado, though delicious to humans, is toxic to most animals.
  • Sunflowers grow according to a mathematical formula known as the "golden ratio," and almost always produce exactly 55 or 144 seeds.

A-to-Z Encyclopedia!

For all ages!

More than 140 Photos & Illustrations

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Editorial Reviews

Maxim
“Amazingly entertaining.”
Miami New Times
“An expert guide. ... Delves into truth and lore about our furry friends.”
Examiner.com
“A fascinating journey. ... If you like animals and odd stories and gooey oddities then this one is for you.”
Examiner.com on The Big
“A fascinating journey. ... If you like animals and odd stories and gooey oddities then this one is for you.”
Miami New Times on The Big
“An expert guide. ... Delves into truth and lore about our furry friends.”
Maxim on Final Exits
“Amazingly entertaining.”
Dr. Ellen Prager
“A literary walk through an amazing botanical garden. ... Full of fun facts and surprising legends, the book is a great read for both plant-lovers and novices alike. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot - broccoli will never look the same!”
Library Journal
07/01/2014
Largo (former editor of New York Poetry; The Big, Bad Book of Beasts) has gathered a potpourri of information on a variety of plants from absinthe to zubrowka. He includes agricultural plants, trees, spices, fungi, fossil plants, and a host of other weird and wonderful specimens. The two-page entries are arranged alphabetically by common name, and the author includes the plant's scientific name as well as numerous other common names given to it. As well as describing the plants, Largo shares any lore or myths associated with them, medicinal uses, history, hallucinogenic and/or poisonous properties, adaptations, ecology, fun facts, and uses. The text is illustrated with numerous black-and-white line drawings. Unfortunately, owing to the limited space allowed for each entry, some of the summaries seem to end rather abruptly. Also, in a few places, Largo states the plant has "chosen" its adaptations to its environment. VERDICT Despite minor problems, this gracefully written book will appeal to general readers interested in botany, who will enjoy browsing information on a wide variety of strange and/or useful plants.—Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062282750
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Largo is the author of The Big, Bad Book of Beasts; God's Lunatics; Genius and Heroin; and the Bram Stoker Award-winning Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die, as well as three novels. He and his family live in Florida with their dog, two turtles, a parrot, two canaries, and a tank of fish.

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