Orchid: a cultural history, by J. Endersby
SB409.48 E64 2016, Parks Library Tier 1
At once delicate, exotic, and elegant, orchids are beloved for their singular, instantly recognizable beauty. Found in nearly every climate, the many species of orchid have carried symbolic weight in countless cultures over time. The ancient Greeks associated them with fertility and thought that parents who ingested orchid root tubers could control the sex of their child. During the Victorian era, orchids became deeply associated with romance and seduction. And in twentieth-century hard-boiled detective stories, they transformed into symbols of decadence, secrecy, and cunning. What is it about the orchid that has enthralled the imagination for so many centuries? And why do they still provoke so much wonder?
Following the stories of orchids throughout history, Jim Endersby divides our attraction to them into four key themes: science, empire, sex, and death. When it comes to empire, for instance, orchids are a prime example of the exotic riches sought by Europeans as they shaped their plans for colonization. He also reveals how Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution became intimately entangled with the story of the orchid as he investigated their methods of cross-pollination. As he shows, orchids—perhaps because of their extraordinarily diverse colors, shapes, and sizes—have also bloomed repeatedly in films, novels, plays, and poems, from Shakespeare to science fiction, from thrillers to elaborate modernist novels.
Featuring many gorgeous illustrations from the collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Orchid: A Cultural History tells, for the first time, the extraordinary story of orchids and our prolific interest in them. It is an enchanting tale not only for gardeners and plant collectors, but anyone curious about the flower’s obsessive hold on the imagination in history, cinema, literature, and more.
Protea: a guide to cultivated species and varieties, by L.J.Matthews (University of Hawaii Press)
SB413 P75 M34 2016, Parks Library Tier 1
Protea: A Guide to Cultivated Species and Varieties will be Lewis J. Matthews’ fifth book on the Proteaceae, an ancient plant family of Gondwana origins with incredible diversity of both foliage and flower form. Through spectacular photography he has captured the amazing beauty and unique characteristics of a large range of cultivated species and cultivars. Some of these are well-known while others are either new introductions or lesser known examples considered to be worthy of wider cultivation.
Agricultural beginnings in the American southwest, by B. J. Roth
GN407.4 R67 2016, Parks Library Floor 2
How did agriculture come about in the American Southwest? What environmental and social factors led to the cultivation of plants? How, in turn, did the use of these new agricultural products affect the ancient peoples living in the region? In pursuit of answers to these questions, Barbara Roth synthesizes data from both CRM and academic research to explore the emergence and impact of Southwestern agriculture.
Roth examines agricultural beginnings across the entire Southwest, both northern and southern, and across culture groups residing there. Beyond simply addressing the arrival and widespread adoption of specific cultigens, she pays particular attention to human factors such as patterns of production andvariability in agricultural developments. Her consideration of broad social and environmental dynamics affecting forager diets and adaptive strategies sheds new light on what we know—and what we should ask—about the transition fromforaging to farming.
Mesquite: history, growth, biology, uses, and management, by R. W. Bovey
SB615 M4 B68 2016, Parks Library Tier 1
Global problem or treasure? This question has accompanied the widespread and controversial mesquite tree wherever it grows and is studied around the world. In this comprehensive reference to the genus Prosopis, rangeland scientist Rodney Bovey has gathered and synthesized years of research in a book that reflects our current state of knowledge about the biology, morphology, and management of mesquite.