An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds

An Orchard Invisible A Natural History of Seeds The story of seeds in a nutshell is a tale of evolution From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty five pound double coconut borne by the coco de mer tree seeds are a perpetua

  • Title: An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds
  • Author: Jonathan Silvertown Amy Whitesides
  • ISBN: 9780226757803
  • Page: 277
  • Format: ebook
  • The story of seeds, in a nutshell, is a tale of evolution From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty five pound double coconut borne by the coco de mer tree, seeds are a perpetual reminder of the complexity and diversity of life on earth With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown presents the oft ignored seed with the natural history it deservesThe story of seeds, in a nutshell, is a tale of evolution From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty five pound double coconut borne by the coco de mer tree, seeds are a perpetual reminder of the complexity and diversity of life on earth With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown presents the oft ignored seed with the natural history it deserves, one nearly as varied and surprising as the earth s flora itself Beginning with the evolution of the first seed plant from fernlike ancestors than 360 million years ago, Silvertown carries his tale through epochs and around the globe In a clear and engaging style, he delves into the science of seeds How and why do some lie dormant for years on end How did seeds evolve The wide variety of uses that humans have developed for seeds of all sorts also receives a fascinating look, studded with examples, including foods, oils, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals An able guide with an eye for the unusual, Silvertown is happy to take readers on unexpected but always interesting tangents, from Lyme disease to human color vision to the Salem witch trials But he never lets us forget that the driving force behind the story of seeds its theme, even is evolution, with its irrepressible habit of stumbling upon new solutions to the challenges of life I have great faith in a seed, Thoreau wrote Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders Written with a scientist s knowledge and a gardener s delight, An Orchard Invisible offers those wonders in a package that will be irresistible to science buffs and green thumbs alike.

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      Jonathan Silvertown Amy Whitesides

    About Author

    1. Jonathan was born and raised in London and his schoolboy nature watching was done while taking furtive short cuts on cross country runs across Hampstead Heath He made much faster progress when running back from Hampstead s bookshops in time to beat the end of lunch hour bell His first scientific paper was submitted with an epigraph by Walter de la Mare which the editor removed with a snide comment, and ever since Jonathan has done his best to hide the poetry in his scientific prose In Orchard Invisible the poet emerges barefaced in the very first line with the words Seeds have a mirrored life, the original in nature and another reflected in literature and the imagination.


    An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds Comment

    1. Este libro es el free book of the month de la Universidad de Chicago press.uchicago books freeE y habla sobre las semillas, tiene bastantes curiosidades como por ejemplo por qu la semilla del caf es cafeinada, cuales son los diferentes mecanismos de dispersi n y sus ventajas, la semilla m s grande del mundo, las semillas prehist ricas es sencillo, corto y entretenido, sobre todo si tienes inter s en las plantas.

    2. I was kind of hoping for botany and less natural history, but truth in advertising prevailed the book claimed to be a natural history and it was I learned some interesting facts, but there was also a lot of fluff, as you d expect for a natural history written for a popular audience Overall too much cutesiness.

    3. Interessante e bene scritto.Un viaggio affascinamente tra storia culturare ad esempio l introduzione in Europa del caffe e biologia, con un rigoroso approccio evoluzionistico, alla scoperta dei semi e di come questi siano parte integrante della nostra vita.

    4. Un libro interessante dalla prima all ultima pagina, in cui la parte scientifica si sposa alla perfezione con quella divulgativa Qualche passaggio non di facile comprensione, ma non un problema basta saltare poche righe e si ritorna in sella Casualmente l ho letto subito dopo Denny McFadzean L ingegneria degli animali, opera con cui si integra benissimo soprattutto nelle parti che descrivono le alleanze e le strategie di difesa fra semi ed animali.Avrebbe giovato l inserimento di qualche figura [...]

    5. So many books on plants what makes this one different Well, in addition to his scientific creds, Sllvertown clearly loves the literature of seeds and plants So along with learning that seed plants first evolved on land, but retain features of the marine environment they came from, I read thoughts from Ovid , a quote from Emily Dickinson, and a paraphrase from Shakespeare Silvertown is enjoying himself Silvertown s approach is to take familiar seeds or plants, from beans, roses, grapes, acorns, a [...]

    6. I m surprised at the good reviews this book got in the press It s a good coffee table book I guess, and one can gather all sort of little titbits But if you re looking to really understand how plants seeds work and their evolution, the book is a cumbersome read and it often confuses than it illuminates It often mentions biological physiological terms and processes which are never explained or sometimes explained much later , and often presupposes knowledge than most books on evolution I ve rea [...]

    7. Despite prejudices you might encounter at reading the title, this book is a wonderful read full of lively, clarifying metaphors like this one describing the movement of an awn, the bristly appendages that help many grain seeds fly through the air like a dart Who would have thought that a simple bristle on a grass seed could pilot it to a vertical landing, punt it over the soil surface and drill it into the earth Or further about awns, It travels like a wayward gondola steered by a deranged boatm [...]

    8. Despite my deep love for natural history as a genre, I found myself perplexed that he was able to take such an exciting topic and make it drab It was a bit tooofessor y, and not random enough By that I mean that he seemed focused solely on his research of seeds, and didn t tangent toward all the other things involved On the bright side, this made it a short read The best compliment is that I read it to a group of 11 year old girls as a bed time story thinking it would put them to sleep, but many [...]

    9. Loved it Reminded me a bit of the book Dirt The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth What does it mean to be a seed What are the ancestor s of seeds How do male and female each influence the next generation How does it protect itself How does it get about How does it know when to grow, or not grow Can it see Can it smell Why are there so many

    10. This is a great introduction book to seeds, especially if you like light playful writing Silvertown incorporates anecdotes than scientific facts, but he ensures that the facts he does include are memorable and worthwhile I recommend reading this as a companion to a real botany book if you re looking to learn a lot.

    11. Like the best natural histories, both informative to the general public and interesting to the trained scientist A fun read I wasn t crazy about the quirky chapter transitions last sentence of one chapter becomes title of next in most cases , since it seemed forced.

    12. didn t like hated the writing style, didn t go in depth enough for my taste either not recommended if you already know how natural selection and domestication works, cos he ll just KEEP GOING ON ABOUT IT, IN A HORRIBLE STYLE

    13. Really loved this book Well written, the author used a scientific perspective, but the language used is easy to understand Every argument is developed in depth, with lots of literature references Really appreciate it

    14. Light but quality pop science on seeds, plant sex, and plant s evolutionary relationships with pollinators, parasites, and people Via UChicago s free monthly ebook program.

    15. A pleasant potpourri of seed information The tone might be a bit too cute for some readers, but I definitely learned a lot of interesting facts.

    16. I enjoyed this book and the quirky, funny narrative voice that Silvertown adopts here I found the introduction a bit too technical and the jokes a bit too forced Later, the technical bits are fascinating and the jokes are funnier and seem less forced Silvertown is not a historian, but I appreciate the effort he takes in historicizing seeds across time The Nixon Kruschev moment he describes on p.68 was far complex and weird than he allows, and probably undermines his point in that section, but o [...]

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