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Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed…
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Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical… (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Amy Stewart, Briony Morrow-Cribbs (Illustrator), Jonathon Rosen (Illustrator)

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927589,428 (3.73)73
Member:baobab
Title:Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities
Authors:Amy Stewart
Other authors:Briony Morrow-Cribbs (Illustrator), Jonathon Rosen (Illustrator)
Info:Algonquin Books (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 223 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Botany, Poison

Work details

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart (2009)

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» See also 73 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I read this book whenever the bind weed in my garden gets a little overwhelming. ( )
  euroclewis | Jun 8, 2016 |
This enjoyable book is a collection of encyclopedia-like entries covering infamous plants that can damage, maim, and kill. Amy Stewart introduces her perusal of wicked plants with an introduction that sets the tone for the ensuing materials, in a voice that is darkly humorous but personable, using words that convey a wary respect for the powers of plants. Clearly, Stewart admires the versatility of the plant world and some of the crazy adaptations that abound, but also hopes to educate people on taking plant life more seriously. Don't take hikes in the wood and just eat whatever you see growing on the side of the trail, people! Honestly, after reading this book, I am feeling much more paranoid about the seemingly harmless plants all around me. Not so much for me, since I am not in the habit of eating greenery that doesn't come for the grocery store, as for my young girls. I am also more in awe of the botanical world, which is far more unusual and potent than I had realized.

After the introduction, the book is arranged with an alphabetical presentation of nearly forty wicked plants, with each entry providing information on where the plant grows, how it was discovered, how people have used it in different times and places, and any other interesting anecdotes attached to the leafy menace. The description also includes the plant's scientific names and a listing of its relatives, or other varieties in the same plant family. These detailed accounts are interspersed with small essays that examine a broader topic, such as plants that are deadly to animals, plants that create hallucinations, and so on. The information is supplemented with fabulous illustrations which sort into two categories: the detailed and realistic depiction of each plant, and the creepy pictures that go along with the intermittent essays. The combination of all these elements creates a quirky package of a book that I adore, with a snarky sense of humor that can run dark, factual information delivered in an inviting manner, and a beautiful cover that is perfectly suited to the material. In my mental image of the ideal library, I have vague notions of obscure books full of mythology and animal and plant lore, and this little nonfiction book captures a small part of that essential librariness that I dreamed up over the years. Plus it's educational and fun to read. I am quite pleased that I found this treasure on a recent trip to the bookstore. ( )
  nmhale | Mar 4, 2016 |


★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Like: Wowie!..... What a wonderful little book (and it is Green, just like the plants). Lots of useful information.....

It corroborated what I keep telling people I know: When I eat spicy hot food, I always want a beer, wine, or margarita because it stops the heat and water makes it worse: "Capsaicin does not dissolve in water.......A good stiff drink is also in order, as the alcohol works as a solvent".... To all my friends: I TOLD YOU SO!

Raw Cashews are poisonous, so they are semi-cooked when shelling them.... they Steam them open, thus a form of cooking, eating the shell, even a small amount id toxic.

Nicotine can be deadly absorbed through the skin.....

So why -1/2 star? Because there were no color pictures, the graphics were well executed pencil drawings. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
This is the one book that should be on the reference shelf of every suspense, thriller or horror novelist.

In an A to Z such as you have never read before, Stewart lays out the chemical nature of over two hundred plants that can be used to kill, blind, paralyze or at the very least, leave your victim curled up in bed very ill.

From deadly nightshade to killer algae, ratbane to hemlock, Stewart lays it all out on the line. If you want to kill off your victim in some mysterious, painful and particularly nasty way, she has a toxin to get the job done. White Snake root is what does in Mrs. Lincoln (Abe's mother). Known as milk sickness, the plant contaminated folks in the early-farm life of America, often wiping out entire families.

Written in entertaining jargon, hitting on the scientific, the historical and the medicinal, Stewart enlightens us to the use of weeds, plants and seeds and advises to “consider yourself warned”. ( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
This is the one book that should be on the reference shelf of every suspense, thriller or horror novelist.

In an A to Z such as you have never read before, Stewart lays out the chemical nature of over two hundred plants that can be used to kill, blind, paralyze or at the very least, leave your victim curled up in bed very ill.

From deadly nightshade to killer algae, ratbane to hemlock, Stewart lays it all out on the line. If you want to kill off your victim in some mysterious, painful and particularly nasty way, she has a toxin to get the job done. White Snake root is what does in Mrs. Lincoln (Abe's mother). Known as milk sickness, the plant contaminated folks in the early-farm life of America, often wiping out entire families.

Written in entertaining jargon, hitting on the scientific, the historical and the medicinal, Stewart enlightens us to the use of weeds, plants and seeds and advises to “consider yourself warned”. ( )
  MarkPSadler | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
Wicked Plants is a stroll down a garden path of dread. Some of the most beloved and innocent plants in our own personal edens are villains at their core...Some 3,900 people in the U.S. are injured every year by poking around electrical outlets, while more than 68,000 are poisoned by plants...
added by SqueakyChu | editToronto Star, Leslie Scrivener (Jul 11, 2009)
 
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Would not the earth, quickened to an evil purpose by the sympathy of his eye, greet him with poisonous shrubs...Would he not suddenly sink into the earth, leaving a barren and blasted spot, where, in due course of time, would be seen deadly nightshade, dogwood, henbane, and whatever else of vegetable wickedness the climate could produce, all flourishing with hideous luxuriance?
--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
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A tree sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed stops the heart; a shrub causes intolerable pain; a vine intoxicates; a leaf triggers a war.
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(from the back of the book) A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. Amy Stewart, bestselling author of Flower Confidential, takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature's most appalling creations in an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. Menacing botanical illustrations render a ghastly portrait of evildoers that may be lurking on your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, enlighten, and alarm even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.
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Stewart takes on more than 200 of Mother Nature's most appalling creations and offers this A-to-Z compendium of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend.

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Amy Stewart is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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