The Plant Hunters tells the story of our fascination with plants and the discovery of new species. From ancient times, when Alexander the Great included naturalists in his entourage, this intriguing story moves across the world, as plants such as coconut trees, roses and numerous fruits and vegetables were introduced from one country to another. The Plant Hunters traces the establishment of botanical gardens and the discovery through exploration of plants that made or broke economies, for instance tulips, tea and rubber. Travelling right around the world and throughout history, this is the tale of the botanical pioneers who changed the face of landscapes.
Carolyn Fry is a journalist and author specializing in science, conservation and natural history. A former Editor of Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society, she is a contributor to BBC Online (science and technology), New Scientist, BBC Wildlife, The Times, Independent on Sunday, theguardian.com (environment) and Kew Magazine. She is author of The World of Kew, the book that accompanied the 2007 BBC TV series A New Year at Kew. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Carolyn lives in London.
– British Book Design and Production Award | Winner Scholarly, Academic and Reference Books category
"In The Plant Hunters, Carolyn Fry sketches out humankind's enduring hunger for botanical riches. She steps back 3,500 years to Ancient Egypt, then visits different parts of the globe and celebrates the contributions of important personalities like Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks. This journey is told through a series of lavishly illustrated two-page spreads, each distilling an episode in the history of plant collecting down to its most engaging details [...] Full of fun facts, intriguing asides."
– New Scientist
"Delightfully, the book includes pouches filled with facsimile documents, like sketches of rare orchids. It's like finding precious leaves pressed between the pages."
– Wall Street Journal
"From ancient Egypt to 17th-century tulipomania to Joseph Hooker in the Himalaya to modern-day seed stockpiling, this handsome slipcased book is a delight."
– Wall Street Journal
"Fry's lavish book [...] takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the human history of the botanical world."
– English Garden