An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds

An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds


The tale of seeds, in a nutshell, is a story of evolution. From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty-five-pound double coconut borne by means of the coco de mer tree, seeds are a perpetual reminder of the complexity and variety of existence on the earth. With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown offers the oft-ignored seed with the usual background it merits, one approximately as various and astounding because the earth’s plants itself.

Beginning with the evolution of the 1st seed plant from fernlike ancestors greater than 360 million years in the past, Silvertown incorporates his story via epochs and around the world. In a transparent and interesting type, he delves into the technological know-how of seeds: How and why do a little lie dormant for years on finish? How did seeds evolve? the wide range of makes use of that people have built for seeds of every kind additionally gets a desirable glance, studded with examples, together with meals, oils, perfumes, and prescription drugs. An capable advisor with an eye fixed for the bizarre, Silvertown is worked up to take readers on unexpected—but regularly interesting—tangents, from Lyme disorder to human colour imaginative and prescient to the Salem witch trials. yet he by no means shall we us overlook that the motive force in the back of the tale of seeds—its topic, even—is evolution, with its irrepressible behavior of stumbling upon new strategies to the demanding situations of life.

"I have nice religion in a seed," Thoreau wrote. "Convince me that you've a seed there, and i'm ready to count on wonders." Written with a scientist’s wisdom and a gardener’s pride, An Orchard Invisible bargains these wonders in a package deal that might be impossible to resist to technological know-how buffs and eco-friendly thumbs alike.

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