books

Amy Stewart

Books

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities (2009)

 

 

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities (2009)

Wicked PlantsCute, and at times interesting, but also at times, she was trying way too hard.

Plants (at least to me) are fascinating in and of themselves. And people do tend to naively assume that if someone is a plant it’s therefore “natural and healthy.” This is, of course, ridiculous, since people have been poisoning since the dawn of time, not just the advent of manufacturing.

The book covers not just poisons (like foxglove and oleander) and hazards (like nettles and acacia) but also invasive species like kudzu and water hyacinth, and even toxic blue green algae (which isn’t a plant).

The book is alphabetical (although scientific names are given, the plants are alphabetized by common name) with sections like “deadly dinner” and “fatal fungus” covering multiple species.

This is actually probably a very good book for people who tend to think that natural automatically equals good, or naively think that you can wander in the woods without a care in the world. But I can’t say there was very much I got from the book, and I thought sometimes she was trying too hard to get her point across.
Rating: 6/10

Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill