An orchard invisible: a natural history of seeds

Book Cover
Average Rating
Publisher:
The University of Chicago Press,
Pub. Date:
2009.
Language:
English
Description

The story of seeds, in a nutshell, is a tale of evolution. From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty-five-pound double coconut borne by the coco de mer tree, seeds are a perpetual reminder of the complexity and diversity of life on earth. With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown presents the oft-ignored seed with the natural history it deserves, one nearly as varied and surprising as the earth’s flora itself.

Beginning with the evolution of the first seed plant from fernlike ancestors more than 360 million years ago, Silvertown carries his tale through epochs and around the globe. In a clear and engaging style, he delves into the science of seeds: How and why do some lie dormant for years on end? How did seeds evolve? The wide variety of uses that humans have developed for seeds of all sorts also receives a fascinating look, studded with examples, including foods, oils, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. An able guide with an eye for the unusual, Silvertown is happy to take readers on unexpected—but always interesting—tangents, from Lyme disease to human color vision to the Salem witch trials. But he never lets us forget that the driving force behind the story of seeds—its theme, even—is evolution, with its irrepressible habit of stumbling upon new solutions to the challenges of life.

"I have great faith in a seed," Thoreau wrote. "Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders." Written with a scientist’s knowledge and a gardener’s delight, An Orchard Invisible offers those wonders in a package that will be irresistible to science buffs and green thumbs alike.

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Contributors:
ISBN:
9780226757735
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 88547e60-e3ac-63eb-357a-c74b27583e04
full_title orchard invisible a natural history of seeds
author silvertown jonathan w
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:27AM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Whitesides, Amy.
author Silvertown, Jonathan W.
author-letter Silvertown, Jonathan W.
author2 Whitesides, Amy.
author2-role Whitesides, Amy.
author_additional Jonathan Silvertown ; with illustrations by Amy Whitesides.
author_display Silvertown, Jonathan W
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callnumber_sort_arlington 581.467 SILVE
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
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oclc (OCoLC)262429482
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Aurora Hills
physical 216 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
popularity 5
primary_isbn 9780226757735
publishDate 2009
publishDateSort 2009
publisher The University of Chicago Press,
rating 2.5
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record_details ils:.b13025636|Book|Books||English|The University of Chicago Press,|2009.|216 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
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scoping_details_arlington ils:.b13025636|.i14040682|Checked Out|Checked Out|false|false|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Botany -- Popular works, Seeds -- Popular works
table_of_contents An orchard invisible: seeds -- First forms minute: evolution -- Even beans do it: sex -- Before the seed: pollination -- According to their own kinds: inheritance -- O rose, thou art sick! Enemies -- The biggest coconut I ever see: size -- Ten thousand acorns: number -- Luscious clusters of the vine: fruit -- Winged seeds: dispersal -- Circumstance unknown: fate -- Fierce energy: germination -- Sorrow's mysteries: poisons -- Ah, sun-flower! Oil -- John Barleycorn: beer -- Realm of illusion: coffee -- Nourishment & inspiration: gastronomy.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title An orchard invisible : a natural history of seeds
title_alt History of seeds., Natural history of seeds.
title_display An orchard invisible : a natural history of seeds
title_full An orchard invisible : a natural history of seeds / Jonathan Silvertown ; with illustrations by Amy Whitesides
title_short An orchard invisible :
title_sort orchard invisible a natural history of seeds
title_sub a natural history of seeds