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Plantes Obsidionales: L’Étonnante Histoire des Espèces Propagées par les Armées

By: François Vernier(Author)

192 pages, 250 colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations and colour distribution maps

Éditions Vent d'Est

Hardback | Sep 2014 | #218351 | ISBN-13: 9791090826496
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £39.99 $53/€45 approx

About this book

Language: French

Looking at the Napoleonic wars and the First and Second World Wars, this book looks at dispersal of plants by armed troops. This work is based on historical writings, but foremost on the field observations of botanists working on the Atlas de la Flore Lorraine. It discusses the patterns of seed dispersal, voluntary or not, and distinguishes three dispersal routes:
- During transport of animal forage and auxiliary troops
- By dispersing seeds inadvertently transported in clothing or bags of soldiers
- By planting for food or medicinal purposes.

The area concerned is the Lorraine battleground well known in recent wars. Some 21 plants are described and their introduction followed by the movement of German, Russian, American, but also French troops. Thus, the Alpine grass species Carex brizoides formed large populations in in the department of Meuse, which is mostly stemmed from seeds escaped from mattresses used by German soldiers. And Sisyrinchium bermudianum, a member of the iris family, is an American plant that followed American troops from Vosges to Meuse-Argonne with general Pershing. In conclusion, the study of obsidional plants reflects local history in the great history and allows us to better understand some aspects of the lives of combatants.

Summary in French:
Ce travail se base sur quelques écrits mais également sur les observations de terrain de botanistes dans le cadre de la constitution de l’Atlas de la flore lorraine. Sont abordés dans ce livre les modes de dispersion des semences, volontaires ou non. C’est ainsi que l’on peut distinguer trois voies de dispersion :
-  Par le transport du fourrage des animaux auxiliaires des troupes
-  Par la dispersion de semences transportées involontairement dans les vêtements ou les sacs des soldats
-  Par la plantation à des fins alimentaires ou médicinales.

Le territoire concerné est la Lorraine terrain de combat bien connu lors des dernières guerres. 21 plantes sont décrites et leur introduction suivie par le mouvement des troupes allemandes, russes, américaines mais également françaises. C’est ainsi que la laîche fausse brize formant de grandes populations en Meuse est pour la plupart issues des graines échappées des paillasses des soldats allemands.

L’herbe aux yeux bleus ou bermudienne, plante américaine suit les troupes US des Vosges à Meuse-Argonne avec le général Pershing. En conclusion, l’étude des plantes obsidionales reflète l’histoire locale dans la grande Histoire et permet de mieux comprendre certains aspects de la vie des combattants.

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