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Good Reads  Botany  Plants & Botany: General

Extraordinary Leaves

Art / Photobook
By: Stephen Green-Armytage(Photographer), Dennis Schrader(Author)
272 pages, 225 colour photos
Publisher: Firefly Books
Extraordinary Leaves
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  • Extraordinary Leaves ISBN: 9780228103752 Paperback Oct 2022 In stock
  • Extraordinary Leaves ISBN: 9781554073870 Hardback Nov 2008 Out of Print #176524
Selected version: £24.95
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles
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Extraordinary LeavesExtraordinary LeavesExtraordinary LeavesExtraordinary LeavesExtraordinary Leaves

About this book

A collaboration between a master nature photographer and a botanist that celebrates the astonishing varieties of leaves.

Leaves are everywhere, appearing in an abundant variety of shapes, colours and textures. They are the unappreciated gifts of nature, worthy of far more extensive study by all.

Extraordinary Leaves is a celebration of one of nature's miracles. As Dennis Schrader explains: "To prepare this book, I have been obligated to take a more intimate look at all aspects of leaves – their many uses, their place in history, the science behind what's going on in a leaf and the unadulterated, simple beauty of the leaf itself."

Photographer Stephen Green-Armytage discovered the beauty of leaves while browsing in a greenhouse. The more he looked at the intricate patterns, the more fascinated he became. His photography in this book is the result of years of study, and it is strikingly beautiful.

Through words and images, Extraordinary Leaves provides an insightful tour. Topics include colour, pattern, texture and shape. Among the specific plants covered are coleus, kale, caladium and ferns.


Introduction Stephen Green-Armytage
Introduction Dennis Schrader



Rex Begonia







Victoria amazonica

Poison Ivy
Golden Hops
Argyreia nervosa

Grape leaves
Japanese Maple

Climbing Patterns


Customer Reviews


Stephen Green-Armytage's previous book, Extraordinary Chickens, proved that there is much unappreciated beauty in the natural world around us. His photographs have appeared in many other books and such magazines as Sports Illustrated, Life, Fortune and The Smithsonian.

Dennis Schrader runs a major greenhouse on Long Island. A professional horticulturalist and a regular guest on Martha Stewart Living TV, he has also worked on The Today Show, Better Homes and Gardens TV and HGTV. He is the author of Hot Plants for Cool Climates: Gardening with Tropical Plants in Temperate Zones.

Art / Photobook
By: Stephen Green-Armytage(Photographer), Dennis Schrader(Author)
272 pages, 225 colour photos
Publisher: Firefly Books
Media reviews

"Extraordinary Leaves will encourage you to examine the leaves on your plants as they emerge next season."
Times-News (Twin Falls ID)

"Stephen Green-Armytage has captured through his camera the astonishing beauty of leaves in this colorful volume, which extols their individuality."
– Marilyn K. Alaimo, Chicago Botanic Garden

"You don't need to be a foliage aficionado to appreciate Extraordinary Leaves [...] You don't need to be a botanist or a gardener. What you do need is a love of beauty and an appreciation for plant particulars [...] Besides the gorgeous photos, you'll be treated to nuggets of knowledge [...] This book gives one a newfound appreciation for leaves [...] Whether you are looking for a holiday gift or just appreciate plants and beautiful photography, this is a relevant book."
– (The Oregonian, Portland, WA)

"A celebration of foliage in its many forms."
Newsday (NY)

"A fresh view of leaves. Simply taking a close look a their color, shape, and texture reveals that these deceptively ordinary things are, in reality, extraordinary. Schrader provides the highly informative text while Green-Armytage fills each page with crisp and vivid images that are certain to spark your imagination."
– C.A. Boylan "Shutterbug"

"An artistic, mostly photographic celebration of the glorious diversity of leaf forms, shapes, colors and textures."
– George Weigel, Patriot-News (Harrisburg PA)

"An extraordinary book. These are more than 225 leaves at their finest, captured in artistic moments, with as complementary amount of text. The photographer groups them by color, edge, pattern, texture, shape, size and other categories. Against a black background, the sharp, bright orange thorns of the porcupine tomato protect the leaves, the Chictori red flowering kale leaves are reminiscent of coral; a close-up of the gradations of reds in a Canna Pretoria leaf is a work of art, and the mimosa silk tree leaves present an extraordinary pattern."
– Sharon Wootton, The Olympian, WA

"Dennis Schrader's informative text plays second fiddle to Stephen Green-Armytage's ravishing photographs of leaves – some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. From cannas and cannabis to lettuce and lotus, with chapters on colour, pattern, shape and texture, the diversity of plant material is sensational."
– Stephen Westcott-Gratton, Metro (Toronto, ON)

"Exquisite photographs get you up close and personal with poinsettia, holly, lettuce, tobacco, moss and marijuana. This is an inspired celebration of colour and pattern, form and texture that will make you see leaves in a whole new light."
The Globe and Mail

"Extraordinary Leaves is a celebration of one of nature's miracles [...] Photographer Stephen Green-Armytage discovered the beauty of leaves while browsing in a greenhouse. The more he looked at the intricate patterns, the more fascinated he became. His photography in this book is the result of years of study, and it is strikingly beautiful."
– I Can

"Extraordinary Leaves will open your eyes to appreciate a world of beauty that you might never have stopped to look at before [...] Rich photographs of both common and exotic leaves on thick glossy pages paired with valuable horticultural text [...] This unusual collaboration of professional, beautiful photography with stories, data, and historical reference makes for an unusual coffee table book that is both a pleasure to look at and read."
Washington Gardener (Washington, DC)

"Flowers get most of the attention in a garden, but it's the leaves that provide the setting for their grandeur. Their quiet beauty is showcased in this stunning collection of more than 225 close-up photographs with accompanying text [...] Soothing and artistic, this book will stand the test of time."
– Harriet Zeldman, Winnipeg Free Press

"I had no idea that I would lust after a coffee-table book, but then I saw Extraordinary Leaves."
– Marjorie Harris, National Post

"In a world where we often seem to run too fast, pay too little attention, I am a wholesale subscriber to whatever comes my way to make me slow down and take notice. Thus, I cannot get enough page-turning as I pore – slowly – over an extraordinary and beautiful book, called simply, Extraordinary Leaves, with photographs by Stephen Green-Armytage and text by Dennis Schrader. It is a coffee-table tome, to be sure, one that beckons you to turn the page reverently, to stop and marvel at the magnificence of something so simple as produce-aisle chard, or even red-leaf lettuce. To behold the poetry of unfurling ostrich fern. To realize the architecture of banana leaf. Through the lens of Green-Armytage's camera, we look at the leaf from nearly every imaginable angle: color, pattern, edge, texture, shape and size. How glorious that this work of art invites us to spend even a few blessed passages of time paying close attention."
– Barbara Mahany, Chicago Tribune

"Leaves are one of nature's more underappreciated gits. The 225 color photographs displayed on these pages show them off in full glory with close-ups revealing their incredible diversity of shapes, colors and textures. Accompanying the photos is an insightfully written guide explaining the physical qualities, uses and science behind leaves."
Outdoor Photographer

"Published in an oversized format (9.25 × 11.25) [...] and filled with full-page color plates of outstanding quality, this book offers an extended meditation on the many aesthetic qualities of leaves. Carefully lit portraits of single leaf examples are arranged into sections such as pattern, edges, kale, texture, shape, and autumn, interspersed with one-page essays about individual plants by Schrader."
SciTech Book News

"The collaboration between writer Dennis Schrader and photographer Stephen Green-Armytage on Extraordinary Leaves offers an abundance of color, texture and shape that will forever change your view of foliage."
Garden Design

"The photographs are attractive and interesting, and collectively, they present the diversity of plant leaves [...] This is a book suited for home coffee tables, for waiting rooms of businesses or hospitals, and for school and public libraries. It would also be useful in public schools as an example of the types of leaves that might be a part of a biology student's leaf collection assignment [...] Often, a book reviewer finds the task onerous, but this was certainly not the case for Extraordinary Leaves."
– Oval Myers, Jr., Southern Illinois University, Science Books and Films

"This is a fresh hint of green against the white backdrop of winter."
Photo Life

"This is an endlessly pleasing, frequently astonishing celebration of shape, colour and texture from one of nature's common little miracles."
The Ottawa Citizen

"With the surprisingly arresting photos by Stephen Green-Armytage, Extraordinary Leaves does what many books can't: It gives you new appreciation for the extraordinary in the ordinary things around you."
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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