Friday, May 3, 2013

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart

Wicked Bugs Hardcover Edition
Last year, I read Amy Stewart's book Wicked Bugs and thoroughly enjoyed reading it! 

So, when another Bookcrosser started a bookray for Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart, I signed up to read and ray this book forward to next reader on the list!

I loved the way in which Wicked Plants is organized into small bite sized tidbits of information that both delight and captivate as well as educate readers about the plants that fill our world. Some plants are poisonous, some are painful, and others are downright destructive or simply a nuisance.

I enjoyed reading the Deadly Dinner segment in Wicked Plants (pages 37-41). In the Deadly Dinner segment, I learned that cashews are related to poison oak, poison ivy, and poison sumac... "The nut itself is perfectly safe to consume, but if it comes into contact with any part of the shell in harvest, it will give the person who eats it a nasty rash." (page 40) 

I also learned from the Deadly Dinner segment, that corn can cause niacin deficiency --- aka pellagra. (page 39)

I also enjoyed discovering that Burdock (page 218-219) inspired Swiss engineer, George de Mestral, to create Velcro!

The Stinging Tree native to Australia is one painful plant I hope to NEVER encounter (pages 167-168)!! It's difficult to imagine that "simply brushing up against this plant results in unbearable pain that may last up to a year. In some cases, the shock of the pain can be so great that it brings on a heart attack." (page 167)

Needless to say, I learned a lot from reading Amy Stewart's book Wicked Plants! I hope you have the chance to read it some day.

The following is a YouTube video of the author, Amy Stewart talking about some of the plants mentioned in her book Wicked Plants. Enjoy watching the video!

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