Author(s): FROST LOUISE AND GRIFFITHS ALISTAIR
Published to coincide with the opening of The Eden Project in 2001, "Plants of Eden" is the first book to focus on the plants themselves. Lavishly illustrated, it covers plants in each of the three biomes - Humid Tropics, Warm Temperate and Temperate. "Plants of Eden" fascinates and informs. It tells the stories of some of the stars in this living theatre of plants and people: where the plants come from; how they grow and are harvested; what people use them for, and how and when some of them arrived in Britain. Above all, it illustrates our dependency on plants, and why we must look after them and their habitats.
The Eden Project drew attention from its very inception. Unheard of crowds gathered to watch the conversion of the old Cornish clay pit and the erection of the three enormous biomes. When opened in March 2001 it was acknowledged as being not only a feat of engineering but an example of Tim Smit and his team's determination to see the project through. So strong are Smit's leadership qualities that the team did not buckle under the enormous financial challenges, they did not sink during the worst weather on record during its construction and held together to achieve this living theatre of plants and people. "Plants of Eden" has been written by two of the younger team members - Louise Frost and Alistair Griffiths, both trained horticulturalists. Although both write regularly for "Western Morning News" this is their first book. A selection of plants from each of the three biomes is examined in detail, giving botanical information together with their use in the modern world and the history behind their discovery. From the humid tropics come cinchona, whose seeds contain the life-saving drug quinine, coffee and papyrus. From the warm temperate zone come grapes, olives and life-sustaining maize. And from the temperate zone, Agave tequilana, the origin of tequila, hops and sunflowers. The authors have chosen the plants almost at random but highlight the importance of each within today's world. Well written and suitable for both adults and children alike, this is a mine of information and anecdotal asides. Accompanied by many colour photographs, this is an invaluable guide both as a visitor aide and as an enjoyable read for those who have yet to make the journey to Eden.
Louise Frost studied biology at the University of Plymouth, and after specializing in the study of plants, obtained a degree in Plant Sciences. She was Plant Records Manager at The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK, and has written for the Western Morning News. Alistair Griffiths trained at Myerscough Horticultural College, and then took a degree in Botany at the University of Reading. A keen plantsman, he is Assistant Scientific Officer and Plant Taxonomist at The Eden Project, Cornwall, UK. He has written for the Western Morning News.
Humid tropics biome; angel's trumpet; cinchona; coffee; papyrus; passion-flower; pineapple; rice; rubber; vanilla; yam; warm temperate biome; bird of paradise; chilli pepper; cork oak; cotton; grape; maize; olive; orange; prickly pear; saffron; temperate biome; agave; eucalyptus; hop; lavender; liquorice; monkey-puzzle; sunflower; sweet pea; tree fern; willow.