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“Makes the science of plant processes accessible to home gardeners.” —The American Gardener Why do container plants wilt even when they’ve been regularly watered? Why did the hydrangea that thrived last year never bloom this year? Plant physiology—the study of how living things function—can solve these and most other problems gardeners regularly encounter. In How Plants Work, horticulture expert Linda Chalker-Scott brings the stranger-than-fiction science of the plant world to vivid life. She uncovers the mysteries of how and why plants do the things they do, and arms you with fascinating knowledge that will change the way you garden.
Today’s plants are descended from simple algaes that first emerged more than 500 million years ago, and now there are around 400,000 species. The huge diversity of forms that that these plants take is staggering. From towering redwoods, to diminutive mosses; from plants that developed stinging hairs and poisons, to those that require fire to germinate tor ocean currents to dsitribute their seeds. But how have we arrived at this mind-blowing variety in the plant kingdom? How Plants Work seeks to answer this intriguing question, drawing from a wide range of examples—from the everyday leaf to the most bizarre flowers—this book is a fascinating enquiry into, and celebration of, the rich complexity of plant life.
From their ability to use energy from sunlight to make their own food, to combating attacks from diseases and predators, plants have evolved an amazing range of life-sustaining strategies. Written with the non-specialist in mind, John King's lively natural history explains how plants function, from how they gain energy and nutrition to how they grow, develop and ultimately die. New to this edition is a section devoted to plants and the environment, exploring how problems created by human activities, such as global warming, pollution of land, water and air, and increasing ocean acidity, are impacting on the lives of plants. King's narrative provides a simple, highly readable introduction, with boxes in each chapter offering additional or more advanced material for readers seeking more detail. He concludes that despite the challenges posed by growing environmental perils, plants will continue to dominate our planet.
Plants play a critical role in how we experience our environment. They create calming green spaces, provide oxygen for us to breathe, and nourish our senses. In The Nature of Plants, ecologist and nursery owner Craig Huegel demystifies the complex lives of plants and provides readers with an elucidating journey into their inner and outer workings. Beginning with the importance of light, water, and soil, Huegel describes photosynthesis, plant circadian rhythms, and how best to position plants to receive optimal sunlight. He explains choosing artificial lights for landscaping, giving lucky bamboo its twisted shape, and tricking flowers like poinsettias to bloom at a specific time of year. He reveals how plants use water, what paths it takes to move nutrients and fuel growth, and why too much--or too little--can hurt. He also explains what essential elements plants need to flourish and what friendly bacteria, fungi, and insects help make a healthy soil. Sections on plant structure and reproduction focus in detail on major plant organs--roots, stems, and leaves--and cover flowering, pollination, fruit development, and seed germination. The intricacies behind how plants reproduce are unraveled, including why not all flowering plants need pollinators, how it can take decades for some plants to produce offspring, and whether parents recognize their kin. Huegel even delves into the mysterious world of plant communication, exploring the messages and warnings conveyed to animals or other plants through chemical scents and hormones. With color illustrations, photographs, and real-life examples from his own gardening experiences, Huegel equips budding botanists, ecologists, and even the most novice gardeners with knowledge that will help them understand and foster plants of all types.
NATURAL HISTORY (CHILDREN'S/TEENAGE). Which plants are carnivorous? What's the smelliest plant in the world? And what is the most bizarre-looking flower on Earth? This eye-opening book explores the amazing diversity of the natural world, looking at how plants grow, reproduce, defend and feed themselves, and survive against the odds in some of the harshest climates on Earth. Packed with pop-ups, booklets and flaps, as well as Beverley Young's charming, detailed artwork, this hands-on, fact-packed guide explains key curriculum knowledge in an accessible and fun way. Perfect for budding biologists. Ages 7+

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