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Flora Mirabilis is a sumptuously designed showcase of superb illustrations paired with fascinating stories of botanical exploration and trade through the ages. A collaboration between National Geographic and the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden, this book will prove an evergreen source of delight, not just for gardeners and flower aficionados, but for anyone interested in the plant world, human civilization, and their intertwined histories.
From prehistory to the present day, Flora Mirabilis blossoms with legend and lore as it culls the most engrossing mysteries and adventures of plant exploration, science, and discovery and garlands them with astonishingly beautiful illustrations. These lavish pages are abloom with the rich details and engaging allure of beloved flowers, stunning gardens, ancient trees, medicinal herbs, and valuable plants of all varieties from world wide. Unique “plant profiles” chronicle the especially remarkable roles each and every plant has played in matters of economics, politics, and taste.
Illustrated all over with never-before-published collector’s edition reproductions and introduced with an eloquent foreword by Peter H. Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden, this stunning volume will catch eyes and flower in imaginations in every single place.
The Top 10 Plants That Shaped the World
Click on thumbnails for larger images
Demand for this flavoring set in motion the great voyages of discovery.
Its sweetness begat a shameful trade in human beings and the plantation system of agriculture.
A New World cultivar–maize–took over the planet and is now an all-too-common ingredient in human and animal food products.
Its special properties without end changed the face of transportation, industry, and on a regular basis life (even if synthetics are now in wide use).
Native to both Asia and the Americas, its seedpods yield a fiber that has clothed all the world.
Benefit and bane derive from its flowers, source of both morphine and heroin.
Once considered a medical panacea, tobacco’s highly addictive chemicals have hooked hundreds of millions over the centuries.
This versatile and nutritious food plant originated in the Americas but beguiled the Irish; widespread blight led to mass starvation and flight—and emigration to The usa.
Roasted beans yield a beverage long at the center of urban social life, from the London coffeehouses of the 18th century, to the Parisian cafés of the 20th, to the Starbucks craze of the 21st.
Source of chocolate, from genus Theobroma, “food of the gods”–need we say more?
(Illustrations courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden Library)
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