The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are the world’s premiere botanical gardens. With a rich history of collecting and categorising plant species from across the globe, it stands today as a unique microcosm in which we can explore the entire plant world.
In the last 500 million years, plants have undertaken an epic journey that has not only spanned the ages but has altered the very make-up of the planet. It was a journey that began in a dark and barren world, and has culminated in a planet that is draped in rich colours, and overflowing with a diversity of mystifying orchids, exploding seed pods and snapping carnivorous plants.
But plants are far more than just beautiful and bizarre. Through the chapters of this book we uncover how plants first began to live on land, how they have become linked with a multitude of animal and fungi partners, and how ultimately they have shaped both landscapes and cultures.
With an introduction by Professor Stephen Hopper, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, as well as contributions from leading botanists and horticulturists, this book unpicks the strands of our planet’s network of botanical life. Through its pages we reveal the extraordinary ways in which plants have come to live and thrive in all habitats, and we discover how they can provide us with answers to many of the problems that face humanity in our modern age.