The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Biology and Cultivation

Overview

Plants that trap and eat animals: an amazing phenomenon that has inspired awe since before the days of Darwin. The victims may be flies and butterflies, small crustaceans, or even vertebrates the size of rats.

Lured into the danger zone by optical, tactile, and olfactory strategies, the prey succumb to ingenious traps and face their doom. But unlike plants that temporarily catch insects for pollination, the true carnivores go considerably further: they digest them for the ...

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Overview

Plants that trap and eat animals: an amazing phenomenon that has inspired awe since before the days of Darwin. The victims may be flies and butterflies, small crustaceans, or even vertebrates the size of rats.

Lured into the danger zone by optical, tactile, and olfactory strategies, the prey succumb to ingenious traps and face their doom. But unlike plants that temporarily catch insects for pollination, the true carnivores go considerably further: they digest them for the nutrients they need to survive in extremely inhospitable sites on land and in water.

Anyone captivated by the unearthly beauty of the "flowers of evil" will treasure this stunning, encyclopedic exploration, which also includes animal-trapping mosses and fungi, as well as advice for growing and buying carnivorous plants and an extensive international bilbliography. It is an essential reference for hobbyist, naturalist, and collector alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Plant Science Bulletin
“This is an exquisite book, truly covering both biology and cultivation of carnivorous plants.”
Lakeland Ledger
"A beautifully illustrated and well-written book about carnivorous plants that will delight everyone interested in these fascinating species."
From the Publisher
"A curious world, indeed, is brilliantly described in this definitive guide."

“This is an exquisite book, truly covering both biology and cultivation of carnivorous plants.”

"A beautifully illustrated and well-written book about carnivorous plants that will delight everyone interested in these fascinating species."

Library Journal

A curious world, indeed, is brilliantly described in this definitive guide. Expert botanists with wide renown, Barthlott, Stefan Porembski, Rüdiger Seine, and Inge Theisen have compiled the first comprehensive listing of all 630 known species of so-called flowers of evil. They detail the plants' biology, diversity, and cultivation. Over 150 color and black-and-white illustrations and two maps illuminate the exotic and beautiful world of plant carnivory. Chapters cover their habitats around the world, biogeography, variety of attracting and trapping mechanisms, prey, and digestion and nutrient uptake systems. The authors discuss the evolution of carnivory, conservation, and requirements for growing these bizarre plants. Sections on the ten families of carnivorous plants and the animal-trapping mosses and fungi open with essays, informed both by historical understanding and by recent scholarship. A full list of carnivorous plants is supplied, A-to-Z by name of species, with the year they were first described and distribution information. A glossary, bibliography, index, and list of carnivorous plant societies and sources close this fine volume. Highly recommended for all gardening or reference collections.
—Donna L. Davey

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881927924
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/15/2007
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 969,792
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilhelm Barthlott is head of the Nees Institute of Plant Biodiversity and director of the botanical gardens at the University of Bonn where he has developed one of the world's largest carnivorous plant collections.

Stefan Porembski is director of the botanical garden and botanical institute at the University of Rostock where he studies the ecology of tropical carnivorous plants.

Rüdiger Seine is an astronaut trainer at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne. His doctorate focused on tropical ecology and the systematics of the sundews.

Inge Theisen studies the molecular genetics and evolution of the bladderworts at the Nees Institute of the University of Bonn.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2009

    Exceptional book for inquisitive well reading child,

    This book was given by me as a gift to a 10 year old boy who has wide interests and at present is interested in carnivorous plants. He has some in his room and some outdoors. I looked through the book before sending it as a gift and was very impressed. It is well written and is what I would consider the ultimate book on the subject perhaps in the encyclopedia classification and excellent for a child who can read well and comprehend well. Perfect gift for the 1o year old boy I sent it to. He LOVES it.

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