Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities

Wicked-Plants
Amy Stewart's new book, Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities, has a fantastic cover. The book seems terrific, too!
A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. In Wicked Plants, Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature's most appalling creations. It's an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. You'll learn which plants to avoid (like exploding shrubs), which plants make themselves exceedingly unwelcome (like the vine that ate the South), and which ones have been killing for centuries (like the weed that killed Abraham Lincoln's mother).

Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and legend, this compendium of bloodcurdling botany will entertain, alarm, and enlighten even the most intrepid gardeners and nature lovers.

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities

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  1. Could we have a game to win one of these books? Something with poetry maybe? Pssst… TNH! TNH!

  2. (2nd link goes to an ad for the Kindle DX. Like I’m gonna pay $500 for the privilege of reading something from a terribly narrow range of rent-only DRMed books.)

  3. The ONDCP will request a revised edition ASAP, due to the omission of Cannabis, whose massive threat to society has been widely documented, from Reefer Madness to Dragnet.

  4. For sheer perversity, I probably can think of a dozen nasties that didn’t make the cut. Still, I’d pick it up for just the historical lushness.

  5. The ‘ohe trees growing at Maunaloa on Molokai were believed to be inhabited by certain Hawaiian gods. It is a fact that “these trees became poisonous only at the Molokai location; trees of the same family on other islands remained harmless….”—Nana I Ke Kumu, Mary Kawena Pukui, volume 1, page 25.

  6. Big Ed Dunkel, try Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Wild Man Steve Brill points it out as something to avoid on his city park foraging tours.

  7. I have jimson weed growing in my front AND back yards. Out here in So Cal, it’s one of the few bloomin’ plants I don’t have to water.

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