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Botany for Gardeners (Third Edition)

By Brian Capon

An outstanding and enjoyable introduction to botany.

Bloomsbury Review

For two decades readers around the world have been fascinated by Brian Capon's crystal-clear descriptions of how plants work. What happens inside a seed after it is planted? How do plants use each other — and animals — to survive? How do they reproduce, and how do they transform nutrients into growth?

Botany for Gardeners is the most complete, compact, and accessible introduction to the world of botany available. The new edition has been expanded with dazzling scanning electron microscope photographs and even more amazing facts about plants. Especially timely are new essays on food plants: what makes plants edible, the effects of climate change, and the role of genetic engineering.

Whether it's the exotic behaviors of unusual seeds, the astounding weight-bearing capacity of the Victoria waterlily, or the ingenious existence of lichens, the third edition of Botany for Gardeners will be embraced by beginning gardeners and devoted plant-o-philes.

Media reviews

"Packed full of features that makes plants so fascinating."

Gardens Illustrated

"A combination of crisp, friendly writing and detailed, understandable illustrations ... yields a great book that will be a welcome addition to the reference shelf."


"Gives the basics in a layperson's language, and it's not the size of a typical scientific tome, which in my book recommends it highly."

SciTech Book News

"An outstanding and enjoyable introduction to botany, whether the reader is a gardener, or just a garden visitor."

Bloomsbury Review

"An essential reference guide for those interested in how plants grow but who don't have a background in science."

Minneapolis Star Tribune

"An essential reference for every gardener — and every young person who otherwise won't learn the botanical sciences and miss out on a whole lot of life."

—Margaret Roach, AWayToGarden.com

About the author

Brian Capon

Brian Capon received a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Chicago and was for thirty years professor of botany at California State University, Los Angeles.

Read more about Brian Capon

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