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The Dictionary of Science for Gardeners: 6000 Scientific Terms Explored and Explained

By Michael Allaby

Should be on every potting shed shelf.

New York Times

This must-have reference will help you navigate the complex world of science. It defines more than 6,000 words from 16 branches of science that are of particular interest to gardeners, from abscission (a plant’s rejection of an organ) to zoochory (the dispersal of seeds by animals). Hundreds of illustrations clarify key definitions and help explain abstract concepts.

  • Definitions reflect the latest developments in science
  • Covers topical issues like climate change, ecology, and native plants
  • Indispensable to home gardeners and nursery professionals

Media reviews

"Should be on every potting shed shelf."

New York Times

"Written for the layperson with an interest in understanding the scientific terminology used in books and articles related to modern gardening.…Notable for broad coverage, this volume is recommended."


"A useful guide for gaining a better understanding of the complex world of garden science."

Gardens Illustrated

"At more than 500 pages containing the exploration and explanation of some six thousand scientific terms, covering sixteen branches of science that are of particular interest to gardeners, the non-techy among us should not feel cheated by Mr Allaby’s exhaustive pronouncements."


About the author

Michael Allaby

Michael Allaby is an award-winning science writer. His Plants and Plant Life won the Booklist Editors Choice award in 2001. The editor of four science dictionaries for Oxford University Press, he lives in the United Kingdom.

Read more about Michael Allaby

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