The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species

Carlos Magdalena. Doubleday, $26.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-54361-3
With evident passion for endangered and common plant species alike, Magdalena, tropical senior botanical horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in England, shares his experiences traveling the world in his quest to save plant species before they go extinct. Magdalena details his exploits in a wide array of environments—including the Mascarene Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the desert of Peru, the Amazonian region of Bolivia, and the Australian outback—while demonstrating the critical role plants play in all facets of human life. He consistently discusses the need for conservation efforts and says that he wants people “to understand the importance of plants so much that we are moved to do something about it.” Balancing the excitement of fieldwork with the rigors of plant propagation, Magdalena works to find new strategies for germinating seeds from plants that are on the brink of extinction and to keep the last seedlings of a species alive. He is equally articulate about the role that institutions such as Kew play in global conservation efforts, both by growing and preserving plants, as well as through education efforts in all corners of the world. Magdalena’s paean to flora is bound to enthrall readers and get them thinking more fully about plants. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/2018
Release date: 04/10/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 978-0-525-43666-9
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-241-29232-7
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-241-97929-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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