A Gardener’s Guide to Botany


Available for Pre-order. Due January 2023.
A Gardener’s Guide to Botany Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Cool Springs Press
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Pages: 256 Illustrations and other contents: 200 ISBN: 9780760374450 Categories: , ,

A Gardener’s Guide to Botany : The biology behind the plants you love, how they grow, and what they need

A Gardener’s Guide to Botany provides an in-depth and astonishing look at the biology of the plants growing in your garden and home.

Ever wonder if plants sleep or why their leaves are shaped a certain way? The inner workings of the plants you love are revealed and celebrated in this guide by botany expert Dr. Scott Zona.
A Gardener’s Guide to Botany is not just another book on how to grow plants. Instead, it’s a lushly illustrated botanical journey into what makes plants tick, delivered in layman’s terms that are easily understood and appreciated by both advanced gardeners and first-timers. It’s the chlorophyll-infused science behind the plants you know and love, whether you grow them indoors or out.

You’ll learn how different plant parts function (do you know what stomata are and why every leaf has hundreds of them?), the traits that separate plants from animals, and how through eons of evolution the plants we grow in our gardens and homes have developed a million different fascinating adaptations that allow them to survive and thrive. From their leaf shape and growth habit to how they have sex and metabolize the nutrients they absorb, A Gardener’s Guide to Botany covers it all in an accessible and thought-provoking way.

Divided into chapters based on what plants need to survive, some of the topics include:

  • How plants convert water, air, and sunshine into roots, stems, leaves, and flowers through photosynthesis
  • How plants react to their environment and  “know” when it’s right for supporting growth and reproduction
  • How light can inhibit or facilitate chemical reactions in a plant 
  • How plants access and use water and different nutrients, including through lifelong partnerships with other living organisms 
  • How plants reproduce in some pretty ingenious ways, both with and without sex
  • How plant genes are dispersed via seeds spread by wind, water, animals, or by the mechanics of the plant or the seed itself

Learn about all things botanical, including the enlightening science of plant communication, hormones, insect relationships, and even plant sleep. Plus, learn the many varied ways plants protect themselves, from growing spines and producing toxic leaf compounds to emitting volatile chemicals that serve as messages to insect predators or warning signals to neighboring plants. Through beautiful illustrationsfull-color photographs of plants from around the world, and fascinating and relatable text, get to know your plant family like you never have before!

Weight1.17 kg


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"A Gardener's Guide to Botany distils the complex topic of botany down to essential information that a gardener of any level will find immensely useful. Author Scott Zona achieves this without 'dumbing down' or oversimplifying the information. Instead, he offers precisely what a gardener needs to know and reminds us that gardening is not merely an art or a craft, but that it is science. This book will make better gardeners out of all of us."--Matt Mattus, author of Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening and Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening.    -    "As a self- confessed plant geek without any formal training, I have often found gaps in my knowledge of botany. However, I have finally found a straightforward guide to understanding this fascinating world, with simple explanations, clear illustrations, and a delivery that doesn't assume prior knowledge of the subject! Love it!!!"--Michael Perry, hortpreneur and founder of mrplantgeek.com.    - "Gardening is a wonderful hobby that is made all the better by a deeper understanding of the plants we grow. Within these pages, Dr. Scott Zona introduces readers to the inner workings of our botanical companions in a way that is fascinating, easy to understand, and often beautifully illustrated. For those looking to take their gardening hobby to the next level, this book is for you!"--Dr. Matt Candeias, author and host of the "In Defense of Plants" podcast.      -      "I taught introductory botany for 43 years. Had A Gardener's Guide to Botany been available as a textbook, I would have used it every year. Dr. Scott Zona has done a superb job explaining plant biology in a delightful and accurate way. I recommend it without hesitation."--Prof. Karl J. Niklas, Cornell University.       -       "This is the book I have been waiting for! Dr Zona explains the hows and whys of plant science in a way that everyone can understand, demystifying terms such as polyploidy and angiosperm. This is a must-read for all gardeners who want to expend their understanding of the plants they grow."--Jane Perrone, creator and host of the On the Ledge podcast.       -        

Author Biography

Scott Zona holds a B.S. in horticulture and an M.S. in botany from the University of Florida. His Ph.D. in botany is from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (now the California Botanic Garden) and Claremont Graduate University, California. He has explored for plants in Florida, California, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, the Pacific islands, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, and Madagascar. His interests are in the diversity and natural history of tropical plants, especially palms, salvias, and bryophytes, and has published over 175 articles on these topics (and more) in various magazines, book chapters, and scholarly journals. Scott is co-editor of the International Palm Society’s quarterly journal, PALMS, and a Research Collaborator with the Herbarium of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.