Darwin and the Art of Botany: Observations on the Curious World of Plants
Uncover Darwin’s most important writings about plants with this important collection featuring expert interpretations and rare illustrations.
Charles Darwin is best known for his work on the evolution of animals, but in fact a large part of his contribution to the natural sciences is focused on plants. His observations are crucial to our modern understanding of everything from the amazing pollination process of orchids to the way that vines climb. Darwin and the Art of Botany collects writings from six often overlooked texts devoted entirely to plants, and pairs each excerpt with beautiful botanical art from the library at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, creating a gorgeously illustrated volume that never existed in Darwin's own lifetime, and hasn't since. Evolutionary botanist and science historian James Costa brings his expertise to each entry, situating Darwin's words in the context of the knowledge and research of the time. The result is a new way of visualizing Darwin's work, and a greater understanding of the ways he's shaped our world.
Praise for Darwin and the Art of Botany: Observations on the Curious World of Plants
“This book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in Charles Darwin and or botanical history.”—Bird Booker Report
"The thinker known for his insights into animal evolution also spent much of his time thinking about plants, as the lesser-known works here demonstrate. The texts are paired with botanical art from the collection in famed socialite and avid gardener Bunny Mellon’s rare manuscripts and book library.” —The Globe and Mail
"Darwin and the Art of Botany really re-shaped my botanical mind...A master class on focused curiosity."—Plantae
“Deserves its place amongst the blossoming field of plants-and-people literature.”