Field of Science


Something wicked this way comes - book report.

Not too long ago the Phactor asked for help about wicked plants, an interesting idea, for a colleague.  After your helpful comments and suggestions, the Phactor decided he had better read the book that sparked my colleague to seek some wicked plants.  At any rate, here's my report on Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart.  The Phactor would recommend this book for an interesting, convenient read, nice short installments for time challenged people.  Well over 200 plants are included with interesting essays.  The book has an old-timey feel with tinted papers and illustrations.  The essays are quite readable, non-technical, although strangely the author chooses to use scientific names rather than common names for families, which is rather at odds with the low-key approach.  As someone who teaches these things, only two entries were new to me.  Now our definitions of wicked may also differ: Illegal, dangerous, deadly, painful, intoxicating, offensive, or destructive.  Personally the Phactor doesn't think of plants as wicked, although they may be all of these 7 things.  People can be wicked, but plants just have biologies and these features tell us how the plant evolved, but the quality of being wicked seems a peculiarly human trait, but that's just what kind of cynical guy the Phactor is.  The book is quite well researched with only a couple of things that could be called errors.  Almost anybody who likes plants will find this little book interesting, and it's quite economically priced. 

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