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Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

Amy Stewart , Coleen Marlo
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 15 2011
Beware! The sordid lives of plants behaving badly.

A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. Amy Stewart, bestselling author of Flower Confidential, takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature's most appalling creations in an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend.

Stewart renders a vivid portrait of evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, enlighten, and alarm even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.


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Review

"Culling legend and citing science, Stewart's fact-filled, AZ compendium of nature's worst offenders offers practical and tantalizing composite views of toxic, irritating, prickly, and all-around ill-mannered plants." ---Booklist

About the Author

Amy Stewart is the bestselling author of several books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including From the Ground Up, The Earth Moved, Flower Confidential, Wicked Plants, and Wicked Bugs.

Coleen Marlo is an accomplished actor and multi-award-winning audiobook voice artist and producer. In 2010 she was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and she won the Audie Award for Literary Fiction in 2011. She has won numerous Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards and is an AudioFile Earphones Award winner.


Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I throughly enjoyed this book. Natural poisons have always fascinated me and to have them all in one pocket size book was pretty impressive.
Basically it's simple, if you like knowing about poison's and plants they come from then this book is for you. If you think thats boring well I suggest you look elsewhere.
The sections it was divided into, the witty presentation and all of the knowledge easily merits five stars. Yet I have only given it four. Hmmmm.
This is because when it came to plants like Cannabis family she often had some moral message to throw in and that really damaged the whole experience for me.
I'll put it this way when I read a book like this I'm expecting a tool of information, a list of plants and what they do. I am not looking for the author's own moral message coming from some moral highground because it's in a book I bought.
Does the author know about botany? Absolutely, but she should stick to it and leave morality to the philosophers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, but needs an index Dec 30 2009
Format:Hardcover
Enjoyably written, pithy descriptions of dozens of poisonous, prickly, destructive, or otherwise hostile plants. The accompanying engravings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs are first-rate, as beautifully executed as in 19th-century illustrated treatises. Unlike 19th-century botanical or herbal treatises, however, this book is not intended as reference. Think of it more as a stroll through a poison garden: you'll encounter many curiosities, learn a few thrilling and appalling things, and may even have your appetite whetted for more information on a few of the specimens.

Thoroughly enjoyable reading. Needs an index.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Feb. 8 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book with the original intention of reading it first, and then passing it along to friends. But I loved it so much, that I couldn't part with it in the end, and ended up buying a second copy to pass along. This book is an entertaining and informative read for anyone who is intrigued by plants. The illustrations and visual appeal are enough to keep you turning pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked Book Oct. 26 2009
Format:Hardcover
Fantastic book. Entertaining to read with as much pith and techinical knowledge a sophomore gardener like me enjoys. Arranged by alphabetical order (rather than plant family, which can be confusing for non-botanists), each account is succinct and delivered with enough history and pharmacology for there to be discovery. An excellent introduction to botanical chemistry-- this book left me more curious than before, drawing me into an interesting field that before was too unfamiliar for casual wonder.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"I went past the field of the sluggard,
past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins." -- Proverbs 24:30-31

Wicked Plants is a great combination of helpful information about harmful plants and good story telling. Both are valuable to people who wouldn't know one plant from another if they fell into them (until stuck full of thorns or inadvertently poisoned).

When I visit people for the first time who have small children and pets, I'm always astonished to see rooms and yards full of poisonous plants located where they are easily available to inquiring mouths and teeth. When I point out the problem, the so-called adults usually tell me that I can't be right. A few minutes on the Internet quickly causes a major plant remodeling of the house and yard.

I've also walked full of yards filled with marijuana plants being cultivated by the youngsters in the family while the parents remain blissfully ignorant of their crop's potential.

This book will help you overcome any such ignorance that you have.

But I do have a caution: If whoever prepares your food isn't too happy with you, don't leave this book lying around . . . it's full of potentially lethal advice for poisoning you.

The book's main weakness is that if you don't already know these plants you may not be able to recognize them from the drawings. I suggest you look up color photographs on the Internet as you read the books.

Well done, Ms. Stewart!
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