Weeds

By Richard Mabey,

Book cover of Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants

Book description

“[A] witty and beguiling meditation on weeds and their wily ways….You will never look at a weed, or flourish a garden fork, in the same way again.”
—Richard Holmes, author of The Age of Wonder

“In this fascinating, richly detailed book, Richard Mabey gives weeds their full due.”
—Carl Zimmer,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Weeds as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

One-stop shopping on the recent history of unwanted (by people) plants.

Though Mabey does not delve far into the past, his treatment of how colonialism in the past two centuries re-shaped the botanical landscape of the entire planet is comprehensive. He is particularly good on islands, where "invasive" plants arrived and thrived with shocking regularity as European and other ships created denser transcontinental connectivity.

He proves that modernity and its technologies did not fix the ongoing human incapacity to control vegetation, but if anything, left us with a bigger and more hybrid botanical mixture.

From Paolo's list on how plants make human history happen.

I have always felt uneasy about how we vilify weeds—and reading Mabey’s book helped me understand exactly why!

By showing the power of scrappy, forgotten plants, Mabey re-enchanted me with the less showy, less obviously desirable corners of our world. It’s a book that’s lyrical while being jam-packed with information.

From Jessica's list on change how you think about plants.

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