Brian Capon

Books: Botany

Botany for Gardeners: Third Edition (2010)

Botany for GardenersIt's been a long time since my botany classes in college.

A long time.

I've recently found myself trying to remember basic botany / plant physiology / plant geography etc recently, but as all my college text books are long gone, I decided I needed a refresh.

Mostly, I wanted a refresher on the basics to help with plant identification (my plant identification class was my very last semester in college. I'd forgotten most of it by the time I walked out the door after my final. But the thing is, I like knowing what the names of plants are. I like knowing why plants do what they do (my plant physiology classes stuck in my mind a little better). And I wish I could remember any of my plant geography. (That class was after lunch, and the professor spoke in a monotone and showed slides. And I don't mean PPT, I mean, lights of, 35 mm slides.)

So when I came across "Botany for Gardeners" I was delighted. I was also delighted that for the most part, things came back to me as I read them.

Oh, did I mention I got the Kindle version of this book? I did. And I have to say that highlighting a Kindle is way nicer than using an ink highlighter. Neater too, since the Kindle highlights never go outside the lines. I'm not quite suer how any annotations I made, but it was at least a hundred. Most were things I wanted to remember for later, but there were also interesting things, such as

(There was) a report of successful germination of arctic lupine seeds taken from frozen tundra soils and found to be at least 10,000 years old


A bird can fly a considerable distance in the time it takes or a seed to pass through its intestines and, at journey's end, the seed is deposited with some fertilizer that may prove useful in getting the new plant started.


The Victoria water lily… has round, flat leaf blades measuring up to 80 inches (203 cm) in diameter… A full sized leaf can support a load of up to 165 pounds (75 kg).

So, educational and fascinating. And for $10, a good deal.
Rating: 8/10

Published by Timber Press