This extraordinary compilation showcases weird, mysterious and bizarre plants from around the world. Plants trick, kill, steal and kidnap, and this unique book explores a fascinating world in which plants have turned the tables on animals. Author Chris Thorogood showcases these plant behaviours, the interrelationships among plants, the interdependencies between plants and animals, and the intrigue of plant evolution.
All types of weird and sinister are featured in this book, from carnivorous plants that drug, drown and consume unsuspecting insect prey; giant pitcher plants that have evolved toilets for tree shrews; flowers that mimic rotting flesh to attract pollinating flies, and orchids that duplicitously look, feel and even smell like a female insect to bamboozle sex-crazed male bees. Familiar plants such as the Venus fly trap and bird of paradise are featured, along with a host of the un-familiar, such as the parasitic devil’s guts, the monkey-face orchid and a tropical tree with flowers that resemble a pair of ruby red lips.
Chris Thorogood is a botanist at the University of Oxford. He studied parasitic plant biology for his PhD at the University of Bristol where he then worked as a postdoctoral researcher. He is the author of Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Western Mediterranean (Kew Publishing, 2016) which was shortlisted for the Garden Media Guild award in 2016, and co-author of Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve (Kew Publishing, 2014).