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Academic & Professional Books  Botany  Plants & Botany: General

Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh Plants of the Bible and the Quran

Out of Print
By: Lytton John Musselman
336 pages, 255 col photos, 1 map
Publisher: Timber Press
Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh
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  • Figs, Dates, Laurel, and Myrrh ISBN: 9780881928556 Hardback Nov 2007 Out of Print #167954
About this book Biography Related titles

About this book

This book celebrates the plants of the Old Testament, New Testament, and Quran. From acacia, the wood of the tabernacle, to wormwood, whose bitter leaves, as absinthe, flavor alcoholic drinks, 81 chapters cover the more than 100 plants in the holy texts that have true botanical counterparts. Fascinating stories of the fruits, grains, grasses, trees, flowers, and fragrances include botanical characteristics, habitat, uses, and literary context. Richly illustrated with extensive color, this delightful ecumenical botany offers the welcome tonic of a deep look into an enduring, shared natural heritage.

Customer Reviews


Lytton John Musselman has studied Bible plants for three decades and has published several books and numerous articles on their identification, symbolism, and use in the holy writings. He is Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He also wrote Jordan in Bloom (2000), which was commissioned by Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. He has lived and worked in several Middle Eastern countries, including serving as a Fulbright professor at the American University in Beirut (he has held three Fulbright awards); he travels to the Middle East annually. He is also interested in parasitic plants (and edits Haustorium, the newsletter for those interested in the biology of such plants) and quillworts (Isoetes). Also a field naturalist, he is the manager of the Old Dominion's Blackwater Ecologic Preserve.

Out of Print
By: Lytton John Musselman
336 pages, 255 col photos, 1 map
Publisher: Timber Press
Media reviews

A promising title to try. ... A thorough, ethno-botanical tome. Hobby Farms Magazine 20071101 This is a fun one. I'm always interested in plants that have literary and historic connections. -- Elizabeth Licata Garden Rant 20071114 Equally of interest for religious, historical, or horticultural reasons. -- Beth Botts Chicago Tribune 20071202 There's a forward from Garrison Keillor, who, like most of us, (and in spite of a strict Christian upbringing) had no idea what myrrh or frankincense actually were. Well, now he does, and you will too. Buffalo Spree 20071201 The enormous task of examining the diverse and sometimes speculative side of religious ethnobotany is well executed here. ... Appears to be the only work published to date to include both the Bible and the Quran. -- Tracy Mohaidheen Library Journal 20080101 Musselman's fascinating work includes not only the stories of ancient plants but also botanical characteristics, native environment, uses, and literary context. If you are looking for a serious approach to the subject of plants of the Bible, then this is the book. -- John Bagnasco Garden Compass 20080401 An authoritative - but accessible - look at not only the plants of the Bible (including the Apocrypha), but also the Quran. ... [An] interesting and worthwhile book. ... I highly recommend it. -- Judy Lowe Christian Science Monitor 20080902 A readable and relevant book for our times. For those gardening with the plants of the Mediterranean, the book will be a treasured resource. -- Katherine Greenberg Pacific Horticulture 20081101

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