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The Plant Messiah

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About the Author

CARLOS MAGDALENA is the Tropical Senior Botanical Horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and an international lecturer. He is renowned for his unique skills as a plant propagator who is saving the world's rarest plants.


"An entertaining, planterly romp around the world and a glimpse inside one of the world's great botanical institutions." --Financial Times "Magdalena's claim to be a green-fingered Jesus has its merits. His record of propagating plants that others have consigned to botanical history is impressive. . . . Some 30,000 plants have recorded uses for humans. Most people, the messiah preaches, are blind to these everyday miracles. This book will teach them to see." --The Economist "This full-throttle memoir is a window on the exploits that underpin the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . . . [His quests] reveal the rare mix of zeal and patience needed to hunt vanishing plants." --Nature "A page-turner exalting biodiversity... a memoir of a plant--obsessed man [including] warm, familial stories of his Spanish childhood and scores of knuckle-biting, worldwide adventures of a modern-day plant hunter." --Library Journal "Bound to enthrall readers and get them thinking more fully about plants." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A book that will inspire wonder, even hope." --Booklist "Magdalena's excitement about plants and their propagation is contagious, and even those lacking green thumbs should be fascinated by his travels and adventures in science." --Kirkus "The Plant Messiah reads like a detective novel. . . . [This] is a thrillingly uplifting book. . . . There is a beguiling energy to his prose that clearly he has in person." --Daily Mail (UK) "Botany, on its face, doesn't sound particularly thrilling. This book will change your mind." --Bill McKibben, New York Times bestselling author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet and Radio Free Vermont "Carlos has been able to achieve things with plants that no one else can do." --Richard Barley, director of horticulture, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew "Carlos is an inspiration to me. He's the perfect spokesperson for the plants of the world." --Jane Goodall, primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace

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