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Chris Thorogood is Deputy Director and Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum. His research broadly centres on the evolution of plant ecology, with a focus on parasitic plants. He is the author of Kew's Weird Plants, Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Western Mediterranean and Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve.
This is a stunning beauty of a book, which would be perfect either as a present for yourself or someone else. It is contained within lovely packaging with the gorgeous book cover peeking out at you. Author Dr Chris Thorogood, the Deputy Director and Head of Science at Oxford Botanic garden and Harcourt Arboretum, has chosen over 50 topical plants, with detail of their origins and special features. The book tells us that: “Two of the most extraordinary Victorian glasshouses in the world are the Palm House and the Temperate House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, from whose archives the images in this book have been selected”. What really sets this book apart is that the top part of the illustration can actually be pressed out of the page, so that each plant stands out and creates, when the book is opened, a stunning visual spectacle. The instructions are clear and concise, and I took great enjoyment in pressing out the pages to discover my own hothouse. This is truly delightful, and you really do have to see it to truly appreciate the beauty. Do take a look at our competition page, as until 31 August 2019, you can win a copy of The Tropical Hothouse and two tickets to Kew Gardens.
From its roots in ancient Greek herbal medicine, the popular spirit we now know as gin was established by the Dutch in the sixteenth century as a juniper-infused tincture to cure fevers. It gained notoriety during the London 'gin craze' in the eighteenth century before enjoying a recent resurgence and a profusion of new botanical flavourings. Garnished with sumptuous illustrations depicting the plants that tell the story of this complex and iconic drink, this enticing book delves into the botany of gin from root to branch. A diverse assortment of aromatic plants from around the world have been used in the production of gin over the course of several centuries. Each combination of botanicals yields a unique flavour profile that equates to more than the sum of its parts. Understanding the different types of formulation, and the main groups of plants used therein, is central to appreciating the drink's complexities and subtleties. As this book's extraordinary range of featured ingredients shows, gin is a quintessentially botanical beverage with a rich history like no other.
Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve is the most comprehensive identification guide to the rich Mediterranean flora of the Algarve region of southern Portugal, including the Cape St. Vincent Peninsula National Park, an area of immense botanical importance with numerous endemic and rare species. Detailed easy-to-use entries make this guide an essential companion for botanists, students and wildlife tourists. This second edition has been fully updated to the latest in plant phylogenetic relationships, with information provided on where to see plants, and descriptions of habitat and vegetation types. In addition rare and unusual plants of the region are highlighted, including orchids and parasitic plants. With over 1,000 species descriptions, the book is abundantly illustrated throughout with more than 650 stunning colour photographs and 780 line drawings.
Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Eastern Mediterranean is the most comprehensive and up-to-date plant identification guide to the area. This large area has a complex and varied geology and topography but is united by its typically Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The eastern Mediterranean has an exceptionally high number of endemic species, and a flora quite distinct from the western Mediterranean Basin.
This veritable marine treasure trove of a book is richly illustrated by the author, with fifty of the most beautiful, easily encountered, and sometimes astonishing marine organisms found on British coasts, from seemingly exotic seahorses and starfish, to peculiar sea-potatoes and sea lemons. Together, these characterful critters paint a colourful picture of life between the tides: starfish that, upon losing an arm, can grow a new one; baby sharks hatching from their fancifully named 'mermaid' purses'; ethereal moon jellyfish pulsating in the current and, on some seabeds, even coral. Beachcombing, overturning a boulder or simply parting the strands of seaweed in a rock pool offer a glimpse into a thriving underwater world of curious creatures. Inspired by the Oxford University of Natural History's exceptionally rich zoology collections, which contain millions of specimens amassed from centuries of expeditions, this book tells the story of life on the seashore.
For the first time, this extraordinary compilation showcases weird, mysterious and bizarre plants from around the world. Plants trick, kill, steal and kidnap, and this unique book explores a fascinating world in which plants have turned the tables on animals. Author Chris Thorogood showcases these plant behaviours, the interrelationships among plants, the interdependencies between plants and animals, and the intrigue of plant evolution. All types of weird and sinister are featured in this book, from carnivorous plants that drug, drown and consume unsuspecting insect prey; giant pitcher plants that have evolved toilets for tree shrews; flowers that mimic rotting flesh to attract pollinating flies, and orchids that duplicitously look, feel and even smell like a female insect to bamboozle sex-crazed male bees.