CABARET OF PLANTS: Botany and the Imagination

Book number: 90853 Product format: Hardback Author: RICHARD MABEY

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Bibliophile price £5.00
Published price £10.99

Historians have often interpreted the lack of plant images in palaeolithic cave paintings as meaning our ancestors found vegetation either visually unstimulating or short on meaning, not "alive" as, say, a bison, mammoth or deer. Cave portraits of animals see them walking in air, never grazing and while there are plenty of images of men hunting, there are few of them gathering or working trees and wood, which was just as important. In his lyrical and highly original exploration of the history of our relationship with plants, Richard Mabey enthrals with fascinating tales of plants from all corners of the world. Here is the hunt for mythical plants such as the Amazonian moonflower and wonders of old age like the self-rejuvenating yew of Fortingall, Perthshire, that defies any effort to determine its real age as well as the Methuselahs of the plant world, the Bristlecone Pines of the southwest USA, many of which have been reliably dated to over 5,000 years old. Here too are "intelligent" plants, such as mimosas and the carnivores, plus wonderfully surreal tales of telepathic plants, plants which react to polygraphs (lie detectors) and could pick out a suspect who had killed (i.e., trod upon) another member of its species! Famous and less celebrated scientists, landmark and crazy experiments and thousands of amazing specimens, locations and habitats, Mabey's summation of a lifetime's looking at plants reads as a happy tangle of stories and studies, science and poetry. 374pp paperback with 50+ colour and b/w illus.

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ISBN 9781861979582

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