The Plant Messiah
July 23, 2019 9:19 AM - by Carlos Magdalena - Subscribe

Carlos Magdalena is a man on a mission: to save the world’s most endangered plants. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the forests of Peru to deep within the Australian outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab—at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, home of the largest botanical collection in the world—we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and to the importance of preserving it.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (1 comment total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is a book that was recommended to me at work and I am very glad I read it. It’s part non-fiction part autobiography, and all wonderful. When we talk about the 6th extinction we focus more on the disappearing charismatic megafauna and less the plants that support all the upper trophic levels. Take the dodo. Late of the Mauritius, it’s the most well known recent (last 500 years or so) extinction. But the island of Mauritius is also home to plants, plants which are equally stressed in the presence of non-native animals and weeds. Magdalena is using his considerable skill to cultivate these plants and reintroduce them to their native habitats whenever possible- he and his team at Kew gardens are trying to use human ingenuity to blunt the effects of human indifference.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:24 AM on July 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

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