Read The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species by Carlos Magdalena Online

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Carlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction andCarlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors.In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius to deep within the Australian Outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab, we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Along the way, he offers moving, heartfelt stories about the secrets contained within these incredible organisms.Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and the importance of preserving it.An impassioned memoir of saving extraordinary plants on the brink of extinction, by a scientist who has been called a "codebreaker" (Telegraph) and "an inspiration" (Jane Goodall)...

Title : The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385543613
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 262 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species Reviews

  • Rama
    2018-12-01 13:01

    Studying the Silent Extinction of Rare PlantsIn ecology, extinction refers to termination of an organism or of a group of organisms. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, and the ability to breed and recover may have been lost before this point. This term is generally used with animal extinction, but there are very few ecologists who study plant extinction. In this book, environmental biologist Carlos Magdalena describes his studies across to understand how plant extinction are taking place, and how we can fix this silent extinction. The factors contributing to their disappearance are varied and complex, but the consequences of their loss are immeasurable. The author explores the principle factors for extinction. In almost all cases changes brought about in the environment by humans; through deforestation, breaking the natural balance with the introduction non-native species of animals, and global warming.Some of the interesting examples from this book includes; The jellyfish tree, is a critically endangered and endemic to the island of Seychelles. It has been suggested that these trees have been lost from the natural habitat of moist forests through competition with other species and climate change. Roussea simplex is native of Mauritius in Indian Ocean, where it grows in mountain forests. The flowers of Roussea produce copious amounts of nectar and are pollinated only by the blue-tailed day gecko. The fruit secretes a gelatinous substance that contains the minute seeds. The blue-tailed gecko licks up this secretion and disperses the seeds in its droppings. But a small ant introduced to Mauritius by colonists invades the flowers of Roussea and cover with clay to protect themselves. The ants sting blue-tailed day gecko from drinking the pollen and thus stopping pollination process. Trochetia boutoniana also known by its native Creole name Boucle d'Oreille is a shrub close to extinction, because the monkeys introduced into its natural habitat feed on plants blossom buds that effectively eliminated this plant species.The book is not accompanied by illustrations or the photographs of plants becoming extinct in natural habitats. On the lesser side of science, I find the title of this book is somewhat outlandish, after all no one used this term for other renowned ecologists and environmental biologists.

  • Randal White
    2018-12-08 19:11

    The author is a botanist at the Pew Gardens in London.  This is his life story of his efforts to save plants that are on the verge of extinction.  He has traveled the world to find, collect, and propagate these plants.  The book reads like a fiction novel, it's exciting to hear about his adventures. After finishing reading the book, I came away with a sense of disappointment at how fast the earth is changing, and a thankfulness that there are people like the author working hard to preserve our heritage.  

  • Kim
    2018-12-02 13:01

    This book was a better read than most of the fiction I've read lately. The author's anecdotal stories are quite thrilling at times. The reader finds themselves wondering "will it propagate??" As the author yet again attempts to revive a plant thought to be already or near extinct. I found myself reading some of these stories out loud to people and everyone was enchanted by them. While reading this I took the time to look up most of the plants mentioned and did quite a bit of research into each. It's great to learn something new.

  • Nostalgia Reader
    2018-11-23 13:51

    3.5 stars.Any subtitle that mentions searching for rare species immediately draws me in, so I automatically clicked the request button when I saw this on NetGalley.I was expecting this to be more of a pure non-fiction book about various efforts to save various rare plant species, but instead it was a memoir about Magdalena's own travels and efforts to save some specific species. I enjoyed the memoir aspect of it, as Magdalena has an easy to read style and some amusing stories, but I also was a tad disappointed that it was wasn't a compilation of stories about a wider variety of plants. However, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of this book at all!Magdalena is obviously very passionate about plants, and this shows throughout the book. His enthusiasm for helping to propagate rare plants shines through in his writing style--it was a bit frantically written at times, but the narrative of it remained easy to follow throughout. It was a bit overwhelming with all the Latin names thrown around, and no pictures to reference to see some of the nuanced differences between plants. However, because each chapter focused on one specific species of plant, it wasn't too overwhelming.I do hope that the final version will have some pictures of some of the plants and places mentioned, as it would make comprehending some of the nuanced differences in species and sub-species easier.I'd highly recommend this book to people who are passionate about gardening and botany--the more you know about plants, the more you'll likely enjoy it! It's also a good read for someone like me, who appreciates plants and botany, but isn't a hobbyist or expert in plant-life.Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy to review!(Cross posted on my blog.)

  • Randal White
    2018-12-02 12:57

    The author is a botanist at the Pew Gardens in London. This is his life story of his efforts to save plants that are on the verge of extinction. He has traveled the world to find, collect, and propagate these plants. The book reads like a fiction novel, it's exciting to hear about his adventures. After finishing reading the book, I came away with a sense of disappointment at how fast the earth is changing, and a thankfulness that there are people like the author working hard to preserve our heritage.

  • Sid Nuncius
    2018-12-10 11:05

    This is an important book which makes vital points about plant conservation. It is in may ways interesting and informative, but I did have my reservations about the way in which Carlos Magdalena presents his work and his message.Magdalena has been a botanical horticulturalist at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew for many years. This means that he has received the best training and experience available in his field, and it is evident that he really knows what he is talking about. He is genuinely deeply concerned with plant conservation and driven to do all he can about it. This has given rise among colleagues to his slightly tongue-in-cheek title of The Plant Messiah, and in this book he tells us about how his upbringing led him eventually to Kew and about some of his inspiring work in rescuing endangered species. He makes the detail of the work very interesting - even minutiae of the techniques of propagation and grafting for example - and his world-wide forays to save plants from extinction in the face of ignorance, greed, political intransigence and the like are also a fascinating read.I did react rather against the general tone of the book, though. I want to be clear that I unreservedly support what Magdalena is doing and I admire his untiring and sincere efforts. I am rather less admiring of the somewhat egocentric narrative here and the way in which he seems to have taken the Messiah tag a little too seriously. I had a strong sense of his always trying to show us that he cares more than anybody else and has insights which others are too obtuse to see. It is noticeable how infrequently he uses the pronoun "we"; when there is brilliance or success it is "I," but errors are generally by "people." Science is a collaborative effort, and a little more humility and recognition of that would be welcome. Magdalena also sometimes allows his passion to outstrip reasoning; for example, he says "Destroy one species and you give yourself permission to destroy them all." Well, no, Carlos – you don't. You may make it slightly easier to destroy some others, but that's not the same thing at all. There's quite a lot of this sort of exaggerated rhetoric, which for me weakens rather than strengthens his case.I have given this book four stars because its message is so important and there is a good deal of real interest to be found here. I repeat, I think what Carlos Magdalena is doing is admirable and vitally important – but I find spending time in his company can be hard going in places.(I received an ARC via Netgalley.)

  • Elizabeth
    2018-11-29 19:10

    *I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway*Who knew horticulture could be so riveting? The author's enthusiasm, while at times bombastic, is infectious. He writes in a manner that is scientific, but still accessible. The book is part adventure-memoir and part botany-guidebook, all the while explaining why even the smallest plant is a necessary part of its ecosystem.

  • Laura
    2018-11-29 15:54

    I read this book very slowly, one chapter at the time, in the time it took me to read this book I have also read several fiction books but those books have 3 or 4 stars and this has 5. I very rarely give 5 stars. Carlos Magdalena works at Kew Gardens (the way he got the job shows that if immigrations laws were to change, Britain would lose out great talents like him). He is an expert conservationist and an expert in tropical plants and waterlilies. Most of the book is about his attempts at saving one species or another of rare plants and that is fascinating, Carlos Magdalena gives us lots of information, sometimes with a bit of humour, not only on plants but also on zoology, history and so on. It helps that I am a Friend of Kew Gardens which I visit quite often, so it was particularly interesting to read what happens behind closed doors. But the book is also a call to action for all of us. We only have a planet and we are destroying or at best we don't seem to care about it. Plants feeds us, gives us material for our clothes and other objects but they also heal us and provide the habitat and eco-system for many creatures. Basically we can't live without plants. Each plants that becomes extinct is gone forever and might have provided a cure or a solution to a disease or problem in the future. I don't know if Carlos Magdalena is a messiah but it seems obvious that he is extremely passionate and has a lot of knowledge and a strong message. If you are interested in nature or conservation read this book, but it would be good if those people who are not interested in conservation read it.I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

  • J.D. Dehart
    2018-11-21 19:08

    This book is not only a vessel for an important message, it is also well-written and easy on a reader's eyes. Author Carlos Magdalena has a mission to share with us about the world and ecology, and the meaning of the book is not sacrificed for this quest. Rather, the book aligns well with descriptions of Magdalena's work and the moral direction he has taken with what we does.This is a rare instance where we have an entertaining book that also happens to reach out and educate. A lovely juxtaposition, and a nicely accomplished autobiography.

  • Sarah
    2018-12-11 18:13

    Fascinating read. Carlos Magdalena is a Botanist at the renowned Pew Gardens in London. In this book (that reads like a novel) he travels the world, from Pacific islands to South America and Australia, to save endangered plants from extinction.I received a copy of this from NetGalley.

  • Caleb Melchior
    2018-12-07 18:45

    Absolutely magnificent. Sincere and well written. Carlos' writing on our human responsibility to the world is one of the loveliest pieces on plant conservation that I've read.

  • Joke
    2018-11-18 18:08

    Heer der Planten Carlos MagdalenaAantal pagina’s: 256Genre: Biologie algemeenUitgeverij:Atlas ContactISBN: 9789045034515 Een fleurig vorm gegeven cover, die je uitnodigt om beet te pakken en meteen al wat van de plantenwereld laat zien. Heldere frisse kleuren met in wit de opdruk van de titel en auteur.Het boek begint met een verklarende woordenlijst.Het eerste wat opvalt is de gedrevenheid van Carlos Magdalena in de proloog en inleiding.Hij ziet zich zelf een beetje als de messias voor planten en wil dat “Heer der Planten” de aanzet tot verandering van de mensen geeft. Planten zijn de sleutel tot de toekomst van onze planeet, voor ons en onze kinderen. Hij wil de wereld bewust maken van wat planten voor ons doen. Carlos Magdalena is een man met een missie; de in de wereld meest bedreigde plantensoorten voor uitsterving behoeden.Hij weet op miraculeuze wijze zaden tot ontkieming te brengen, planten te stekken door geduld te hebben, allerlei technieken uit te proberen en nieuwe mogelijkheden te onderzoeken. Hij heeft soorten, die als verloren beschouwd werden nieuw leven ingeblazen en weet dit op een inspirerende beeldende manier te verhalen. Tijdens zijn expedities loopt hij tegen bureaucratie, vergunningen en onwetendheid aan.Op een bevlogen manier beschrijft hij hoe planten de zuurstof leveren die we inademen, ons genezen en beschermen en voorzien van kleding, onderdak, eten en drinken.Als lezer wordt je meegenomen op reis naar verre uithoeken in de wereld.Het belang van wetenschappelijk onderzoek is niet weg te denken bij het behoud van bedreigde plantensoorten.In het hoofdstuk Genesis verteld Carlos zijn biografie, waar hij opgegroeid is in Spanje, de liefde voor planten van zijn moeder meekreeg en hoe hij in Engeland stage heeft gelopen bij Kew Garden en daar een baan heeft gekregen.Resurrection op Rodriques verhaald zijn gedrevenheid, je zou het bijna een obsessie noemen om de plant Cafe Marron voor uitsterven te behoeden, wat hem lukt. En hoe omheiningen de wilde flora en fauna beschermen tegen de mens.Tevens verhaalt hij hoe op Rodriques overal uitheemse plantensoorten de inheemse soorten verdringen.In het hoofdstuk Over schildpadden gesproken verteld hij dat schildpadden eigenlijk dezelfde taak als de olifanten op de Afrikaanse savanne hebben: het verspreiden van zaden en bemestten van de bodem met hun uitwerpselen.Als een ecosysteem verstoort is, doordat er een belangrijk element weggevallen is, introduceer je een ander soort. De schildpad eet onkruiden en eet inheemse planten pas, als het niet anders kan. 1 op de 5 planten wordt met uitsterven bedreigt, iedereen kan zijn steentje bij dragen door belangstelling te tonen, kennis te vergaren en deze te gebruiken. Kijk eens om je heen luidt zijn vraag.Soorten zijn soms slecht uit elkaar te houden, doordat ze zo op elkaar lijken en slecht m.b.v. DNA onderzoek kun je achter de juiste soort komen.De economische waarde van bijv. de paranoot heeft deze voor uitsterven door kappen beschermd. Carlos heeft ervoor gezorgd, dat de inheemse bevolking kennis heeft gekregen van stekken en snoeien op de juiste manier.In de Epiloog geeft Carlos Magdalena aan, dat planten “herinneringen” vasthouden en communiceren via uitgestrekte netwerken van ondergrondse schimmels bij hun wortels. Deze netwerken worden gebruikt om hun buren te helpen, door voedingsstoffen en informatie te delen.Al met al een goed leesbaar boek, over een belangrijk onderwerp.

  • Anneke van dijken
    2018-12-10 12:53

    Je ziet meteen aan de cover waar het boek over kan gaan. Wees niet bang, het is geen saai, droog geschreven en langdradig boek. De auteur verteld juist met heel veel passie en vuur over de planten, waarom we zuiniger met de planten en dieren om moeten gaan, waarom veel bijna uitgestorven planten weer terug zouden moeten komen in de natuur, waarom bepaalde dieren nodig zijn in de natuur. Hij laat je nadenken door voorbeelden en verhalen, waardoor je het beter begrijpt en bij jezelf begint te denken van dat hij gelijk heeft, je gaat de natuur met andere ogen bekijken, hoopt dat veel bijna uitgestorven planten uiteindelijk ooit weer volop gaan groeien en bloeien.Door zijn verhalen en hoe liefdevol hij over planten schrijft, kan je merken dat de planten zijn lust en zijn leven zijn. De planten, dieren en plaatsen die hij benoemd in het boek, nodigen uit tot googlen om ze met eigen ogen te zien. Je wilt de reizen maken die hij heeft gemaakt om te ervaren wat hij heeft meegemaakt en gezien. Je wilt Kew in Londen bezoeken om de planten te bekijken, die onder andere door Carlos worden verzorgd, doordat hij er zo beeldend over verteld. Ondertussen leer je ook hoe je planten kan meerderen. Tevens leer je waar bepaalde planten vandaan komen en waar ze oorspronkelijk groeien zoals bijvoorbeeld de Chassalia boryana en hoe ze zich oorspronkelijk meerderen. Hij verteld je wat zijn lievelingsplant is, waar hij mensen onderweg voor laat stoppen als hij vermoed dat ze zich ergens bevinden. Het is een plant waar maar weinig mensen van weten dat die in vele soorten en kleuren voorkomt. Ook zullen maar weinig mensen weten dat er meer kleuren van de katoenplant zijn, dat ze er niet alleen in het wit zijn.Hij heeft het niet alleen over planten, maar er is ook een hoofdstuk over schildpadden, hoe die leven, hoe het komt dat bepaalde soorten zijn uitgestorven en waar de oudst levende schildpad leeft. Je leert bepaalde landen als Peru en eilanden als Mauritius beter kennen, hoe de wetgeving daar is omtrent flora en fauna, hoe ze daar met de planten omgaan.Omdat ik de drukproef mocht lezen, kan ik niet oordelen over de foto's, maar ik ben daar uiteraard heel benieuwd naar en verwacht dat die schitterend zullen zijn.Kortom, dit is echt een heel mooi boek voor als je in planten geïnteresseerd bent en is een heel mooi boek voor de hogere scholen.Minpuntje is dat de noten achterin staan in plaats van onder de bewuste bladzijde.Lees verder op https://surfingann.blogspot.nl/2017/0....

  • meandthebooks
    2018-12-07 15:54

    The first thing that got me interested in this book is because it's about plants. I remember my mother who loves plants and gardening. So I was instantly interested when NetGalley offered this book to read.So this book tells the story of Carlos Magdalena who worked as a botanist at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. We will know that this story is certain about the plant and Magdalena's efforts to prevent extinction.Sure enough, from the beginning in this book has been told about the journey how Magdalena can get into Kew. Then he asked how to keep some species from extinction. From the beginning Magdalena had told her story in a light, easy-to-understand language.Well, I never visited Kew, because I'm in Indonesia. But I will look at this book from another point of view. Through this book Magdalena has shown the various sides of a botanist's life. By the way, the delivery is sometimes serious, funny and ordinary. Then each section is told according to different species and territories.What I expect from this book is a clear picture of the species. Because when I read the book and curious about the type of species, I will look for it over the internet. So I hope this can be fixed.So, is this book worth to read? True, this book can be very interesting for botany or anyone who loves plants. Because I'm not a plant lover and can be interested, so I'm sure this book will also be very interesting for ordinary people like me.Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read this book. Although I read in a slow tempo but this book really attracted my curiosity.So how many stars for this book? from the depths of my heart, I will give 4 star. Actually when reading this book and making me very interested in the plant, I finally went to one of the forests in Indonesia with this book. Reading The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species By Carlos Magdalena with the lush, rain, drizzle and very quiet rainforest situation can give me another feeling. Several times I found a stream of sulfur streams, very tall pine plants, wild flowers, wild butterflies, and cold air. If you want to know my feelings, it is incredible. I am grateful to be able to read this book and I invite everyone to read it.Look once again, that it's possible that some of the objects we use come from forests, plants and rare plants.also read at my blog, https://www.buku-books.com/review-the...thanks

  • meandthebooks
    2018-12-15 12:11

    The first thing that got me interested in this book is because it's about plants. I remember my mother who loves plants and gardening. So I was instantly interested when NetGalley offered this book to read.So this book tells the story of Carlos Magdalena who worked as a botanist at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. We will know that this story is certain about the plant and Magdalena's efforts to prevent extinction.Sure enough, from the beginning in this book has been told about the journey how Magdalena can get into Kew. Then he asked how to keep some species from extinction. From the beginning Magdalena had told her story in a light, easy-to-understand language.Well, I never visited Kew, because I'm in Indonesia. But I will look at this book from another point of view. Through this book Magdalena has shown the various sides of a botanist's life. By the way, the delivery is sometimes serious, funny and ordinary. Then each section is told according to different species and territories.What I expect from this book is a clear picture of the species. Because when I read the book and curious about the type of species, I will look for it over the internet. So I hope this can be fixed.So, is this book worth to read? True, this book can be very interesting for botany or anyone who loves plants. Because I'm not a plant lover and can be interested, so I'm sure this book will also be very interesting for ordinary people like me.Thank you to NetGalley for letting me read this book. Although I read in a slow tempo but this book really attracted my curiosity.So how many stars for this book? from the depths of my heart, I will give 4 star. Actually when reading this book and making me very interested in the plant, I finally went to one of the forests in Indonesia with this book. Reading The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species By Carlos Magdalena with the lush, rain, drizzle and very quiet rainforest situation can give me another feeling. Several times I found a stream of sulfur streams, very tall pine plants, wild flowers, wild butterflies, and cold air. If you want to know my feelings, it is incredible. I am grateful to be able to read this book and I invite everyone to read it.Look once again, that it's possible that some of the objects we use come from forests, plants and rare plants. Please also look this review in buku-books.com

  • RMazin
    2018-12-02 14:52

    Carlos Magdalena is the plant messiah. His mission is one of plant advocacy and rescue. As a horticulturist and botanist at Kew Gardens. But he is not only found there. More frequently, Carlos travels the world in search of rare plants, restoring plant ecosystems and trying to get humans to work within the framework of the environment for the betterment of our planet. While most people see a single plant, Carlos sees the whole ecosystem that either supports it or destroys it. He seeks to educate and change what we are doing to our world, whether it is a large project or perhaps something a hobbyist can grow in a backyard.The Plant Messiah begins as a memoir showing how environment and family in Spain influenced Carlos. Then through his instincts, skills, determination and education he transforms himself into a knowledgeable and innovative advocate of the natural world. He is ready to risk time, and himself to pursue plants in many inhospitable situations.The book is exciting, amusing and informative. Since I had an ARC on my Kindle from Netgalley, I read the book slowly. That is because there weren’t any pictures in this format. So with my Kindle opened to the text, and my Ipad researching the images of the Latin plant names, I could see what Carlos was seeing. Yes, it took longer to read but it was still enjoyable. And sometimes, having lived on the East Coast and Southwest deserts, I was able to recognize similar plant life – major coup!Recommended and thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.

  • Kaitlyn
    2018-12-11 14:54

    I won an ARC of this book through a Goodreads giveaway; all thoughts and ratings are my own. This is one of my favorite books I've read recently. I haven't read many books about rare plants or botany, but this was still understandable to me. I really loved the section dealing with South American plants. If I was just judging that book on that section, it would have been a 5 star book, especially the portions where he talked about how local populations were dealing with the deforestation and other threats to the native plants there. The sections where he talked about trying to figure out how to breed different endangered plants and the work (and occasionally luck) that goes into figuring out the exact mechanisms by which they breed were also fascinating. So why is it 4 stars instead of 5? There were a few sections were he talked too much about himself and things not entirely related to plants for my tastes. I understand it's a memoir, but I really could have done without the references to what his teachers thought about him as a boy and other similar aspects. They didn't add anything to the main purpose of the book. Overall, I would recommend this book to just about anyone - it's not written in obscure language, there's enough human interest to keep those not entirely fascinated by plants reading, and the sections dealing with figuring out how to breed plants or finding specimens of endangered plants are fascinating.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-11-26 15:10

    An excellent book for conservationists the world over! As a person who has worked in conservation and education I can say this is a really important book to read. We often hear of helping the tigers or saving the polar bears. But who is going to save the worlds loneliest palm tree? Who will be there to mourn the last Bory's Coral Tree? Mountain flowers that rely on geckoes as its sole pollinators and trees claimed by all to be living dead. This is a collection of stories about the people who will save these plants and preserve special, beautiful, and vital parts of the worlds ecosystems. These are the people who send seeds to the famous seed bank in the arctic. This is a book about saving the world. One special plant at a time. This is a very Important book.

  • Susan
    2018-12-05 14:03

    Carlos Madalena’s shares the story of his lifelong passion for identifying plants, eventually becoming focused on attempting to save many endangered plants and their seeds from extinction. An enlightening glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of his work at Kew Gardens is enhanced by highlights journeys to collect seeds and cuttings in remote locations around the world to,gather specimens for propagation. While he provides detailed descriptions of many of the plants, it is disappointing not to be able to view phototgraphs and botanical illustrations of them, especially since readers are unlikley to ever have an opportunity to see most of these rare plants themselves

  • Gareth Schweitzer
    2018-12-02 13:43

    Carlos’s messianic complex was less annoying than I thought it would be. A fascinating and inspiring read. I want to be a botanist!

  • GONZA
    2018-12-17 16:11

    REVIEW TO COME!

  • Peter Timmermans
    2018-11-18 11:53

    Nymphaea

  • Jennifer Malinowski
    2018-11-23 10:54

    The Plant Messiah explores the topic of plant conservation from the point of view of one of the Kew Garden's (London) gardeners. Magdalena describes his interest in plants and nature from an early age with a few stories from his childhood. You learn how he was able to secure an internship and later a position at Kew where he has been able to cultivate some of the world's rarest flora. The writing is extremely accessible, even for a non-scientist, and engaging. I think that the book could have been improved upon by the inclusion of photographs of some of the plants; I did not find the line drawings to be particularly useful and went instead to the internet to find pictures. Overall, a solid 4-star book.*I received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, but this is my honest opinion.