It's often imagined that rarity is special. We seek out uncommon plants or birds to tick them off our lists, but most of us overlook the extraordinary splendour of the species we encounter daily in the natural world. It's these species – the most successful plants – that are truly interesting.
In this new book, Ken Thompson sets out to chart Britain's fifty-two most common wild plants and to explain the secrets of their success. What are their key characteristics? How do they thrive in different habitats? Where did they come from? What do their popular names – speedwell, buttercup, dog rose – mean?
Common or Garden – stunningly illustrated by the artist Sarah Abbot – will open our eyes afresh to the everyday natural world.
Dr Ken Thompson was for twenty years a lecturer in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield. He writes regularly on gardening for the Daily Telegraph. His previous book was Do We Need Pandas? The Uncomfortable Truth About Biodiversity.