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The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2018
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
Carlos Magdalena is a man on a mission: to save the world's most endangered plants. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the forests of Peru to deep within the Australian outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab—at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, home of the largest botanical collection in the world—we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and to the importance of preserving it.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/10/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385543620
ASIN:
B073YTFKNH
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Carlos Magdalena. (2018). The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Carlos Magdalena. 2018. The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Carlos Magdalena, The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Carlos Magdalena. The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:25:45
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:42:57
Last Metadata Check:
Apr 06, 2021 05:17:25
Last Metadata Change:
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Apr 06, 2021 05:17:28
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Feb 17, 2021 08:47:46
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Apr 10, 2021 02:28:16

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      • bioText: CARLOS MAGDALENA is the Tropical Senior Botanical Horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and an international lecturer. He is renowned for his unique skills as a plant propagator who is saving the world's rarest plants.
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title
The Plant Messiah
fullDescription
Carlos Magdalena is a man on a mission: to save the world's most endangered plants. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the forests of Peru to deep within the Australian outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab—at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, home of the largest botanical collection in the world—we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and to the importance of preserving it.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Jane Goodall, primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace
      • content: "[I]t is fascinating to follow Magdalena as he travels from remote Australian billabongs full of rare water lilies to the dry forests of western Peru, where the last gnarled huarango trees grow in the shadow of the Andes. But the greater accomplishment of The Plant Messiah is the compelling case that Magdalena makes from caring about plants in general."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "In a world whose ecology is changing so fast, only a special kind of obsessive would concern himself with saving endangered plant species. That's Magdalena... who recounts adventures that have taken him from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius on a quest to preserve as much flora as he can."
      • premium: False
      • source: Nature
      • content: "Magdalena's claim to be a green-fingered Jesus has its merits. His record of propagating plants that others have consigned to botanical history is impressive. . . . Some 30,000 plants have recorded uses for humans. Most people, the messiah preaches, are blind to these everyday miracles. This book will teach them to see."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "This full-throttle memoir is a window on the exploits that underpin the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . . . [His quests] reveal the rare mix of zeal and patience needed to hunt vanishing plants."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2018
        With evident passion for endangered and common plant species alike, Magdalena, tropical senior botanical horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in England, shares his experiences traveling the world in his quest to save plant species before they go extinct. Magdalena details his exploits in a wide array of environments—including the Mascarene Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, the desert of Peru, the Amazonian region of Bolivia, and the Australian outback—while demonstrating the critical role plants play in all facets of human life. He consistently discusses the need for conservation efforts and says that he wants people “to understand the importance of plants so much that we are moved to do something about it.” Balancing the excitement of fieldwork with the rigors of plant propagation, Magdalena works to find new strategies for germinating seeds from plants that are on the brink of extinction and to keep the last seedlings of a species alive. He is equally articulate about the role that institutions such as Kew play in global conservation efforts, both by growing and preserving plants, as well as through education efforts in all corners of the world. Magdalena’s paean to flora is bound to enthrall readers and get them thinking more fully about plants.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2018

        When Magdalena (senior botanical horticulturist, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, England) saved the world's smallest waterlily from extinction, journalists dubbed him the "plant messiah." He embraced the title, working to rescue plants and becoming a passionate messenger communicating their importance in the planet's precarious future. Now, he's written a page-turner exalting biodiversity. Like Alain Baraton's The Gardener of Versailles, it's a memoir of a plant-obsessed man at the top of the horticultural profession. It includes warm, familial stories of his Spanish childhood and scores of knuckle-biting, worldwide adventures of a modern-day plant hunter. Highly entertaining, vivid descriptions let readers vicariously experience ecosystems such as Peru's coastal desert, an Australian water hole frequented by crocodiles, and a mountaintop where clouds crash into him. Amid thrills, it deliberately informs readers about ethnobotany and intricate relationships among people, plants, their surroundings, and pollinators. Similar to Carolyn Fry's The Plant Hunters and Andrea Wulf's The Brother Gardeners, it relates how plants shaped history and colonialism. Anecdotes explain how that somewhat sordid past sometimes complicates modern efforts in international cooperation to save ecosystems. Magdalena sees his audience as plant messiahs, too, and suggests steps to enrich one's environment and biodiversity. VERDICT Recommended for nature adventure fans and gardeners alike.--Bonnie Poquette, Milwaukee

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 15, 2018
        The Tropical Senior Botanical Horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, records with enthusiasm his attempts to rescue as many plants as possible from extinction.Raised in rural Spain by a gardening-obsessed mother who taught him the names of hundreds of plants, Magdalena moved to England in his 20s, initially working as a waiter and sommelier. Fascinated by the gardens at Kew, he talked himself into an internship there and then was accepted into their rigorous three-year Diploma in Horticulture program, after which he was offered a job at the gardens. In his first book, Magdalena details his trips to many parts of the world and the rare plants he helped the locals preserve or brought back to the gardens to attempt to propagate. In Australia, he lurched through mud, avoiding crocodiles, to get a desirable specimen. In Peru, he chewed more coca leaves than was perhaps advisable and bounced "from rock to rock and plant to plant, jabbering with delight." The author is clearly as excited about playing in dirt or water back in England as he is about dodging predators in exotic locales, and he effectively communicates the thrill of figuring out how to get an especially recalcitrant plant to reproduce. Magdalena has a particular passion for waterlilies, and his tales of procuring species for the huge ponds at Kew ring with delight. Illustrations would have been useful, since, though the author describes the key features of the plants, most of them will be unfamiliar to general readers. If the details of the plants don't come through vividly, Magdalena's mission certainly does, and the glossary is helpful. "I will not tolerate extinction," he writes, nor "thuggish invasive species...bullying" native plants into submission.Magdalena's excitement about plants and their propagation is contagious, and even those lacking green thumbs should be fascinated by his travels and adventures in science.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 15, 2018
        Magdalena is a senior botanical horticulturist at Kew Gardens, tasked with discovering and propagating rare plant species around the world. And so readers join him on tiny Rodrigues Island, 350 miles east of Mauritius, to examine the native cafe marron treethought to be extinct until discovered by a schoolboy there in 1979, and miraculously propagated from seed by Magdalena some 20 years later. There are treks to the Amazon rain forest and to northeast Australia in search of rare waterlilies, the author's passion; to Bolivia to help locals propagate Brazil nuts outside their native habitat (not easy); and to coastal Peru to create seed balls to restore native forests there. To anyone questioning the practical value of the author's singular energy and focus on such rare and remote plants, Magdalena offers Nymphaea thermarum, a waterlily found in Rwanda that no one before 1980 knew existed. Turns out its properties make it the rare dream genetic model for invaluable horticultural research. A book that will inspire wonder, even hope.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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Carlos Magdalena is a man on a mission: to save the world's most endangered plants. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the forests of Peru to deep within the Australian outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab—at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, home of the largest botanical collection in the world—we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and to the importance of preserving it.
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