Anatomy Of A Rose: Exploring The Secret Life Of Flowers by Sharman Apt Russell

By Sharman Apt Russell

In Anatomy of a Rose, Sharman Apt Russell eloquently unveils the "inner lifestyles" of plant life, displaying them to be extra person, extra enterprising, and extra responsive than we ever imagined. From their assorted fragrances to their nasty deceptions, Russell proves that, the place nature is worried, "wonder is not just our place to begin; it may well even be our destination." all through this botanical trip, she unearths that the technology at the back of those clever plants--how they advanced, how they continue to exist, how they heal--is much more awe-inspiring than their fleeting good looks. Russell is helping us think what a box of snapdragons feels like to a honeybee; she introduces us to plants that keep an eye on their very own temperature, allure pollinating bats, even odor like a rotting corpse.In this poetic rumination, which mixes sleek writing with a scientist's readability, Russell brings jointly the paintings of botanists worldwide, and illuminates an international instantaneously universal and unique.

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Extra resources for Anatomy Of A Rose: Exploring The Secret Life Of Flowers

Sample text

Ve want to smell like a henna flower. But we don't want to smell like the largest inflorescence in the world, the nine-foot-tall giant arum, mythically pollinated by elephants, which gives off a stench so revolting it h3s rrwde men grow faint. We don't want to smell like the dead horse arum, a flower that evolved ncar gull colonies and came to resemble the rotting carcass of a bird. This arum is round and plate-sized, grayish purple, blotched with pink, and covered with dark red hairs, or trichomes.

The top note comes first, with a floral highlight such as lilac or lily. The middle note provides body and uses the or essential oils in jasmine, lavender, or geranium, The third, or hase note, includes animal products, slIch as musk from rutting deer or the pasty fluid from the anal glands of civet cats. These last products also add the intangible lJualities of hody and warmth. The human bo(h- has its own array of scent I'mlll glands scattered on the face, scalp, brc(lsts, under the arms, and in the genital area.

Bilaterally symmetrical flowers, for example, tend to control more precisely how a pollinator gcts pollcn and lcaves it behind. Many orchids have a beautifully decorated lower lip, which provides insects with a good place to land. From' here, the animal stands and pushes its hcad or entire body into the flower's upper gullet. As the pollinator backs out, the pollcn clings to the thorax, abdomen, or some other place likely to contact the stigma of the next orchid. TilE SIIAPE OF THINGS TO COME In a pca blossom, a single large banner petal signals the bee.

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