Apr 20

Book Review: Wicked Plants

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical AtrocitiesWicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

Stewart wrote FLOWER CONFIDENTIAL about the floral industry, so one can posit that like me, she loves plants. Like me, she’s also fascinated with poison and murder. The book is lush with exquisitely beautiful (and sometimes exquisitely macabre) illustrations. With short chapters, plentiful illustrations, and a thorough table of contents, this is a fast read.

(I’m not going to go so far as to say that this is the perfect book for the back of the toilet, but WICKED PLANTS does have short entries, each of which is interesting, and yet none of which will take longer than five or ten minutes to read. Just sayin…)

It’s a little light on the science for science fans, but at least there aren’t a huge cast of organic chemicals clogging up the prose like characters in a Russian novel. It’s a little light on the gardening tips for passionate botanists, but has enough new facts in both categories that you’ll learn new things. I didn’t realize that I had three of these plants in my own yard. I knew oleander was poisonous (everyone knows that) but sago palm?

This is a good gateway book for people who aren’t into non-fiction but would like to be. It’s also a good book if you have anyone in your life who doesn’t read much because they think novels are a waste of time.

View all my reviews

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