Anatomy Of A Rose: Exploring The Secret Life Of Flowers

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Basic Books, Apr 24, 2009 - Science - 232 pages
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In Anatomy of a Rose, Sharman Apt Russell eloquently unveils the "inner life" of flowers, showing them to be more individual, more enterprising, and more responsive than we ever imagined. From their diverse fragrances to their nasty deceptions, Russell proves that, where nature is concerned, "wonder is not only our starting point; it can also be our destination." Throughout this botanical journey, she reveals that the science behind these intelligent plants--how they evolved, how they survive, how they heal--is even more awe-inspiring than their fleeting beauty. Russell helps us imagine what a field of snapdragons looks like to a honeybee; she introduces us to flowers that regulate their own temperature, attract pollinating bats, even smell like a rotting corpse.In this poetic rumination, which combines graceful writing with a scientist's clarity, Russell brings together the work of botanists around the globe, and illuminates a world at once familiar and exotic.
 

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Contents

The Physics of Beauty
2
The Blind Voyeur
12
Smelling Like a Rose
26
The Shape of Things to Come
38
Sex Sex Sex
50
In the Heat of the Night
58
Dirty Tricks
68
Time
82
The Tower of Babel and the Tree of Life
118
Flowers and Dinosaurs
130
The Seventh Extinction
142
What We Dont Know
150
Alchemy of a Blue Rose
160
Phytoremediation
170
Selected Bibliography and Notes
178
Index
202

Travelin Man
92
Living Together
104

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About the author (2009)

Sharman Apt Russell is the author of several books, including Hunger and Songs of the Fluteplayer, which won the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award. She has written for publications including Discover and Nature Conservancy, and currently contributes to OnEarth, the magazine for the National Resource Defense Council. Russell teaches creative writing at Western New Mexico University and at Antioch University in Los Angeles, California. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico.

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