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Botany non-textbook book

scott meissner smeissne at ATLAS.MCKENDREE.EDU
Sat Feb 21 12:19:45 EST 1998

Scott T. Meissner
Division of Science and Mathematics
701 College Road, McKendree College
Lebanon, IL  62254
e-mail:  smeissne at atlas.mckendree.edu
Aure Entuluva!

On 20 Feb 1998, Mark Hammer wrote:

>      I was wondering if any of you have a suggestion as to a general 
>      interest book related to plants or plant science that might be 
>      appropriate for a sophomore-level Botany course.

Here is a list of fun books off of my shelf, you might find parts
of them useful for background reading:

	"Fantastic Trees"  by Edwin A. Menninger
		Timber Press, isbn:  0-88192-324-9
		A bit dated, but still fun.  Has many
		stories about wierd trees.

	"The diversity of life"  by E.O. Wilson
		Belknap Press, isbn:  0-674-21298-3
	"Tales of a Shaman's apprentice."  by Mark J. Plotkin
		Viking Press, isbn:  0-670-83137-9
		A very readible account of what ethnobotany
		is all about.

	"What is life?"  by L. Margulis and D. Sagan
		Simon & Schuster, isbn:  0-684-81326-2
		Very well illustrated.  A fun overview of

	"The private life of plants"  by David Attenborough
		Princeton University Press, isbn:  0-691-00639-3
		The companion book to the videos.  I use
		the videos in my class for background.  The 
		book also can serve this purpose.

	"The action plant"  by Paul Simons
		Blackwell Press, isbn:  0-631-13899-4
		A few of the chapter and section titles give the flavor 
		of this book:
			"The sensitive world of nervous plants"
			"Exploding plants"
			"Flower power"
			"Hunting and killing"
			and more.
		This book has an excellant set of citations from 
		the research literature as well as great appendices
		in which experiments are described, sources of seeds
		for touch sensitive plants listed, and information
		on how to grow them.  The best resource for 
		student projects that I have ever found.

	"Economic botany:  Plants in our world"  by B.B. Simpson 
		and M.C. Ogorzally
		McGraw-Hill Inc., isbn:  0-07-057443-X
		This is a textbook, but it has such a wonderful
		history of the uses of plants that I use it to 
		supply me with stories to seed into my lectures.
		Several of my students have read parts of it and
		found it to be very interesting.

	"A natural history of trees of eastern and central North America"
		by D.C. Peattie
		Houghton Mifflin Co., isbn:  0-395-58174-5
		A fun set of essays on uses and characteristics of 
		trees, there is another volume for western trees.

	I would also suggest the use of reviews.  There are many that
are at an appropriate level.  For example there was an article in 
Scientific American called "The loves of plants".  I have a set of 
such articles on reserve and discuss them as related topics come up
in lecture.  I have never required them as reading, but I do require
that students read on article and present a summary of the article and
these are possible ones for their use.

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