Remarkable Plants That Shape Our World
Helen Bynum and William Bynum
Plants are truly remarkable: even with all our modern technological prowess they still feed, clothe and shelter us, help transport us and can intoxicate and cure us. Helen and William Bynum are expert guides to the rich histories, significance and uses of over 80 key plants in 69 entries, revealing our relationship with them, both utilitarian and aesthetic, and their multiple benefits and cultural associations. Organized thematically, eight sections cover all aspects of our interaction with plants – starting with those crops that were fundamental to the development of cultures and civilizations, and those that enliven our diet beyond the basics, such as saffron and chilli peppers. Other sections look at plants that have helped to create our material world, as well as those that are used medicinally or are revered and adored for symbolic reasons, including the tulip, the rose and the lotus. For anyone interested in the natural world and the extraordinary diversity of flora around us, this elegantly illustrated and covetable book, published in association with the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, will be an inspiration and a delight.