Plants: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199584062

Timothy Walker
152 Pages
113 x 174 mm
Pub date
Apr 2012
Very Short Introductions


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  • Looks at what plants are, how they grow, how we use them, and how we can look after them for the next generation
  • Examines how plants evolved and how they cope on dry land, including their reproduction and dispersal
  • Explores how this group of organisms is organized into botanical classifications
  • Considers how we have manipulated plants to provide for our needs, and how we can preserve this botanical inheritance for future generations

Plants form a fundamental element of the biosphere, and the evolution of plants has directly affected the evolution of animal life and the evolution of the Earth's climate. Plants have also become essential to humans not only in the form of cereal crops, fruit, and vegetables, but in their many other uses in wood and paper, and in providing medicines. Their aesthetic importance too in our parks and gardens as well as in wildflower meadows and great forests should not be underestimated. 
In this Very Short Introduction Timothy Walker, Director of the Botanical Gardens in Oxford, provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the need and efforts for their conservation for future generations. 


1: What is a plant?
2: Living on dry land
3: Making more plants
4: Moving around
5: Making sense of plant diversity
6: What have plants ever done for us?
7: Looking after the plants that support us

About the author: 

Timothy Walker, Director of the University of Oxford Botanic Garden
Timothy Walker has degrees in both botany and horticulture, and has been director of the Botanic Garden in Oxford for 23 years.

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