A Gardener's Guide to Botany is not just another book on how to grow plants. Instead, it's a lushly illustrated botanical journey into what makes plants tick, delivered in layman's terms that are easily understood and appreciated by both advanced gardeners and first-timers. It's the chlorophyll-infused science behind the plants you know and love, whether you grow them indoors or out.
You'll learn how different plant parts function (do you know what stomata are and why every leaf has hundreds of them?), the traits that separate plants from animals, and how through eons of evolution the plants we grow in our gardens and homes have developed a million different fascinating adaptations that allow them to survive and thrive. From their leaf shape and growth habit to how they have sex and metabolize the nutrients they absorb, A Gardener's Guide to Botany covers it all in an accessible and thought-provoking way.
Dr Scott Zona is a botanist, researcher, and educator with a focus on tropical plants. For 9 years he served as the curator of the Wertheim Conservatory and Greenhouses at Florida International University in Miami, where he directed the restoration of the conservatory and maintained their research plant collections. Dr Zona has collaborated with scientists worldwide on plant ecology research and has taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses on tropical plant taxonomy. He guides garden tours and workshops for students, garden clubs, and the general public. In addition, he was a palm biologist with the Center for Tropical Plant Conservation at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Florida. He also educates houseplant enthusiasts through his online course, The Botany of Houseplants.
"[...] a source of information that's not only trusted and highly credible, but also approachable for readers at any level and an absolute joy to read."
– Awkward Botany
"Zona does an excellent job of explaining the scientific background of plants in great detail and giving definitions along the way to expand readers' full understanding. This highly recommended book is a fine addition to all gardening collections."
– Lori Wetherell, Library Journal
"If you share a lack of botanical knowledge and are interested in truly understanding plant life, A Gardener's Guide to Botany by Scott Zona (Cool Springs Press, 2023) will educate you in a witty, informative manner."
– Triangle Gardener
"A Gardener's Guide to Botany distils the complex topic of botany down to essential information that a gardener of any level will find immensely useful. Author Scott Zona achieves this without 'dumbing down' or oversimplifying the information. Instead, he offers precisely what a gardener needs to know and reminds us that gardening is not merely an art or a craft, but that it is science. This book will make better gardeners out of all of us."
– Matt Mattus, author of Mastering the Art of Vegetable Gardening and Mastering the Art of Flower Gardening