By Amy Stewart
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Paperback, 9781565126039, 305pp.
Publication Date: March 18, 2008
Award-winning author Amy Stewart takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry and how it has sought for better or worse to achieve perfection. She tracks down the hybridizers, geneticists, farmers, and florists working to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature can provide. There's a scientist intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horitcultural legend who created the most popular lily; a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorean farmer growing exquisite roses, the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. And, at every turn she discovers the startling intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.