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“What E. O. Wilson did for Biophilia, David Lee does for ‘Chlorophilia’ and indeed the entirety of how we, a visual species, interact with the vegetative world around us. Lee does a masterful job in explaining the science underlying the colors produced by plants, and in doing so shows how they both illuminate and enrich our lives. No trip to the grocery store, the florist, or even out your front door will be the same after reading this book.”--N. Michele Holbrook, Harvard University
— N. Michele Holbrook
“David Lee’s favorite plants, and the ones he has spent a lifetime investigating, are the jewel-like iridescent blue plants of the deeply shaded jungle understory, and these have stimulated him to embark on a wide-ranging book on the colors of nature. Lee moves with ease from basic science—the chemistry of pigment molecules, the physics of structural colors, the adaptive importance of plant colors for themselves and the animals that pollinate and disperse them—to the role that plant colors play in human life, from the dyeing of cloth to our art, literature, and languages, and the psychological power of certain colors. Nature’s Palette is a spacious book, full of wonder and wonders, in which the scientific and the personal, the poetic and the historical, come together in the most delightful way—it is a pure pleasure to read.”
— Oliver Sacks
"Lee's book is packed with many gems from botanical and social history. So captivating is his passion for botany that his occasionally bewildering carotenes and anthocyanins can be forgiven. His paean provides a compelling case that botany is full of intellectual challenges, many shamefully neglected."
— Philip Ball
“This book is written for the ‘informed non-scientist, probably with an interest in gardening or natural history.’ David Lee hits his target audience very successfully. He obviously cares about colour because he tells us what photographic film he used for his significant personal contribution to the 238 colour photographs in this richly illustrated book—a small point perhaps but indicative of the detail and care that has gone into its preparation.”
— Timothy Walker
"A variegated hybrid of a book: an elegantly produced and beautifully illustrated cross between personal memoir, botanical miscellany and student text."
— Alan Cane
"A great book that will leave you looking at leaves and petals with renewed admiration."
— Adrian Barnett
"Lee takes his readers through the social history, ecology, evolution and biochemistry of plant colour. Lee makes no apologies for his unabashedly personal approach, and his love and enthusiasm for the subject shine through on every page."
— Sandra Knapp
"This beautifully illustrated book . . . mixes scientific content and personal anecdotes with some art, history and sociology to show how plant colour has enriched the lives of men and women down through the ages. It should appeal to a broad readership."
— Michael Prater
"Nature's Palette will captivate the nonscientist as well as the scientist in everyone. . . . [Lee] presents a fascinating description of the impact and importance of plants to people. . . . The book is beautifully illustrated and includes topics ranging from the nature and distribution of plant pigments in various plant parts (leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, and roots) to the use of plants to color skin as well as fabric. . . . The science in the book is solid, but is presented in a clear, nonintimidating fashion. Nature's Palette will appeal to a wide audience."
"Designed to be understood by the well-educated layman, [the book] will serve equally as a good introductory text for undergraduates, getting out of our perceptual rut, and as a means of appreciating . . . the fruit and veg section of the local supermarket."
— Adrian A. Barnett
"[Lee] is at pains to convey his twin delights in plant anatomy and plant physiology to the non-specialist. He does this very well, indeed. . . . The colors of flowers, fruits, stems, and leaves: all are explained with clarity and precision."
— Neil A. Harriman