Flora Mirabilis: How Plants Shaped World Knowledge, Health, Wealth, and Beauty (Hardcover)

How Plants Shaped World Knowledge, Health, Wealth, and Beauty

By Catherine H. Howell, Peter H. Raven (Foreword by), Douglas Holland (Introduction by)

National Geographic Society, 9781426205095, 255pp.

Publication Date: October 20, 2009



Flora Mirabilis is a sumptuously designed showcase of superb illustrations paired with fascinating stories of botanical exploration and trade through the ages. A collaboration between National Geographic and the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden, this book will prove an evergreen source of delight, not just for gardeners and flower aficionados, but for anyone interested in the plant world, human civilization, and their intertwined histories.

From prehistory to the present day, Flora Mirabilis blossoms with legend and lore as it culls the most engrossing mysteries and adventures of plant exploration, science, and discovery and garlands them with astonishingly beautiful illustrations. These lavish pages are abloom with the rich details and engaging allure of beloved flowers, stunning gardens, ancient trees, medicinal herbs, and valuable plants of all varieties from around the world. Unique "plant profiles" chronicle the especially remarkable roles each plant has played in matters of economics, politics, and taste.

Illustrated throughout with never-before-published collector's edition reproductions and introduced with an eloquent foreword by Peter H. Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden, this stunning volume will catch eyes and flower in imaginations everywhere.

About the Author

Catherine Herbert Howell has contributed to dozens of books including National Geographic's Book of Peoples of the World, Wonders of the Ancient World, and Expeditions Atlas. Howell was also the editor of the companion book to the PBS documentary "Out of Ireland." Peter H. Raven is recognized as one of the world's leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity. Raven champions research around the world to preserve endangered plants.