The Rose's Kiss: A Natural History Of Flowers

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Island Press, 1999 - Nature - 267 pages
Flowers bring joy and beauty to our lives, from the smallest patch of daisies outside our window to the elaborate floral decorations on display at weddings, banquets, and funerals. As well as offering aesthetic benefits, they teach us much about how the world works -- each blossom is a living factory that manufactures organs and compounds ranging from the flavonoids that make a rose red to the pollen that gives us hayfever.In The Rose's Kiss, botanist Peter Bernhardt rekindles our sense of wonder at the plant life all around us. He presents a fascinating and wide ranging look at the natural history of flowers -- their forms and functions as well as their hidden interactions with the surrounding environment and the other living organisms they depend upon for survival. Using both familiar and exotic examples, he examines: flower architecture, including the wonderfully descriptive names of floral parts and their respective roles in a plant's life-cycle the secret exchange between a bud and its environment that determines blooming time and the lifespan of individual blossoms colors, scents, and other mechanisms that plants use to attract pollinators and keep them returning season after season the incredible diversity of organisms that pollinate plants -- cockroaches, flies, moths, parrots, hummingbirds, bats, and others extinct plants and their fossil blossoms, showing the evolution of flowering plants over the past 125 million years and much moreDelightfully interwoven with intriguing facts and stories from history, folklore, and mythology, The Rose's Kiss is a wonderful example of literary science writing at its best. It should hold wide appeal for nature lovers, garden enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning more about the inner workings of the natural world.
 

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The Rose's Kiss: A Natural History Of Flowers

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In this skillful blend of art, literature, science, and scholarship, Bernhardt--an expert in the field of floral structure and the author of Natural Affairs: A Botanist Looks at the Attachments ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
CHAPTER 2
21
CHAPTER 3
41
CHAPTER 4
54
CHAPTER 5
67
CHAPTER 7
95
The Primary Attractions
106
CHAPTER 9
122
Psychoanalysis and Serenades
147
The Faithful and Unfaithful Bee
160
CHAPTER 13
174
F Is for Fake and Flower
187
CHAPTER 16
209
Glossary of Flower Terms
235
About the Author
249
Copyright

CHAPTER 12
132

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