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100 Plants that Almost Changed the World by…
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100 Plants that Almost Changed the World

by Chris Beardshaw

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First let me get the major problem out of the way:

The title totally lies. At best... 93. Nettles have four separate entries and at least one other plant has 2. There's an entry that covers the invention of the lawn mower. While most can be argued to have had significant enough impact to fall under "almost changed the world", some, like entry #1, fail to impress (although it does have the impressive name of "Fishy Goatsbeard", which, in my opinion, is a different kind of impressive).

Aside from those things, the book is gorgeous. Richly illustrated and easy to read it was chock full of interesting tidbits about different plants - not all of them the obvious run-of-mill plants, like roses, you'd expect (see Fishy Goatsbeard). The author is definitely a big fan of Stinging Nettle. Personally, I'm going to be googling bilberry jam when I'm finished writing this and quite a few of the plants I have in my garden have taken on a whole new importance. MT's dislike of my tansy plant has lost all ammunition and I'll definitely be looking for a mother-in-law's tongue this weekend.

Die hard gardeners might not enjoy it as much as I did; it's not an in-depth exploration of any plant, but merely several paragraphs of highlights, but for the enthusiastic, avid, or newbie gardener, I think the book would be a treat. Just don't pay any attention to the title. ( )
  murderbydeath | Apr 4, 2018 |
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From cars made of carrot to tea-smuggling spies; Popeye's spinach to the hallucinogenic effects of lettuce, renowned garden expert Chris Beardshaw takes us on a journey though history's most fascinating plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs: the ones that changed the world, the ones that almost did, and the ones that certainly didn't.… (more)

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