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General Bibliography

These are just a few of the books and encyclopaedias I have used repeatedly for background on many trees and plants.

There is a separate page with Online Resources, and a list of Individual Species Pages for each species featured in Around the World in 80 Plants.

This page is divided into the following sections:

Botany and Plant Science

  • Avoiding Attack, Ruxton et al
  • Biology of Plants, Raven, Evert and Eichhorn
  • Bizarre Plants, W. M. Emboden
  • CABI Encyclopaedia of Forest Trees
  • Climbing Plants, C. Darwin
  • Edible Nuts of the World, E. Menninger
  • Encyclopaedia of Tropical Plants, Fayaz
  • Fantastic Trees, E. Menninger
  • Fertilisation of Orchids, C. Darwin 1862
  • Flora Celtica, Milliken and Bridgewater
  • Flowers of the Eastern Mediterranean, Fragman et al
  • Flowers of the Southwest Deserts, N. N. Dodge
  • Forests and Woodlands of Namibia, Mendelsohn and Obeid
  • Fruits of SE Asia, J. M. Piper
  • Guide to the Flowers of Western China, Grey-Wilson and Cribb
  • Handbook of Conifers, Dallimore and Jackson
  • How Plants Work, S. Blackmore
  • Leaf Defence, E. E. Farmer
  • Leaves, Prance and Sandved
  • Life on Earth, D. Attenborough
  • Living Plants of the World, Milne
  • Nature’s palette, the Science of Plant Color, D. Lee
  • Plant Animal Communication, Schaffer and Ruxton
  • Plant Magic, Tan and Xingli
  • Plants from Roots to Riches, K. Willis and C. Fry
  • Plants of the World, An illustrated encyclopaedia of vascular plants, Christenhusz et al
  • Sagas of the Evergreens, Lamb
  • Seaweeds and their uses, Chapman
  • Sustaining Life, Chivian and Bernstein
  • The Biology of Deserts, D. Ward
  • The Book of Seeds, P. Smith
  • The Evolution of Plants, K. Willis
  • The Gourd Book, C. B. Heiser
  • The Kew Plant Glossary, H. Beentje
  • The Life of a Leaf, S. Vogel
  • The Plant Book, D. Mabberley
  • The Private Life of Plants, R. Grounds
  • Treasures of Tane, Plants of Ngai Tahu (NZ) R. Tipa
  • Trees of Delhi, P. Krishen
  • Trees, P. A. Thomas
  • Tropical and Sub-Tropical Trees, M. Barwick
  • Vegetables from the Sea, Seibin
  • Wildflowers of the World, Everard and Morley
  • Wild Flowers, S. Raven

Economic Botany

  • A Dictionary of the Economic Products of the Malay Peninsula, I. H. Burkill 1935
  • Botanical Miracles, Chemistry of Plants that Changed the World, Cooper and Deakin
  • Early Uses of California Plants, E. K. Balls
  • Economic Botany: Plants in Our World, Simpson & Ogorzaly
  • Natural Plant Products, L. F. Trueb
  • People’s Plants, B. E. Van Wyk
  • Plants and Society, Levetin and McMahon
  • The Commercial Products of India, Sir George Watt 1908
  • Waste Products and Undeveloped Substances. P. Simmonds 1859
  • World’s Commercial Products, Freeman and Chandler 1907

Medicine, Drugs, Poisons

  • Dangerous Garden, D. Stuart
  • Medicinal and Other Uses of North American Plants, Erichsen-Brown
  • Medicinal Plants in Tropical West Africa, Oliver-Bever
  • Medicinal Plants of the World, B. E. Van Wyk and Wink
  • Medicinal Plants Traded on South Africa’s Eastern Seaboard
  • Mind Altering and Poisonous Plants of the World, Wink and Van Wyk
  • Murder Magic and Medicine, Mann
  • Plant Drugs that Changed the World, Taylor
  • Plants that Kill, E. Dauncey

Culture and Folklore

  • Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
  • Compendium of Symbolic and Ritual Plants in Europe
  • Discovering the Folklore of Plants, Baker
  • Encyclopaedia of Food and Culture
  • Flowers and Flower Lore, H. Friend 1884
  • Folklore of Plants, Thiselton Dyer
  • Malay Magic, W.W. Skeat?
  • Musical instruments of SE Asia, E. Taylor
  • Mythology of Indian Plants, M. Gandhi
  • Nature and its Symbols, L. Impelluso
  • Nectar & Ambrosia, an anthology of food in world mythology, T. Andrews
  • Of Plants and People, C. Heiser
  • Plants of Life, Plants of Death, Simoons
  • The Cultural history of Plants, Prance and Nesbitt
  • The History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers, Coffey


  • A Taste of History, 10,000 Years of Food in Britain, M. Black
  • Ancient Botany, Hardy and Totelin
  • Archaeology of Food, Metheny and Beaudry
  • Bowdich, Mission to Ashantee
  • Colm Toibin, Th Irish Famine
  • Curiosities of Food, Simmonds
  • Directions for the Gardener, Evelyn
  • Freaks and Marvels of Plant Life, M.C. Cooke
  • Gerard’s Herball
  • Himalayan Journals, Sir J. D. Hooker
  • Humboldt’s Travels, A. von Humboldt
  • Mankind and Mother earth, Toynbee
  • Pharaoh’s Flowers, Hepper
  • Plants and archaeology, G. Dimbleby
  • Plants of the Bible, Moldenke
  • Plants of the Bible, Zohary
  • Robinson’s New Family Herbal
  • Scripture Culture and Agriculture, Davis
  • Sweetness and Power, the Place of Sugar in Modern History, S. Mintz
  • The British Museum Book of Flowers, A. Scott-James et al
  • The Natural History of the Bible, Hillel
  • De Causis Plantarum, and Enquiry into Plants, Theophrastus, Loeb Classical Library
  • Trees and Timber in the Ancient Mediterranean World, Meiggs
  • Flowers in History, P. Coats


  • Evolution of Crop Plants, Simmonds
  • Lost crops of Africa (3 vols)
  • Plants Consumed by Man, Grouk
  • Sturtevant’s Notes on Edible Plants
  • Tropical Tree Crops, Opeke


  • A Natural History of Beer, DeSalle and Tattersall
  • Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Food
  • Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices, P. N. Ravindran
  • Food in History, Reay Tannahill
  • On Food and Cooking, H. McGee


  • A Dictionary of Colour, I. Paterson
  • A Dictionary of English Plant Names, G. Grigson
  • Bright Earth, The Invention of Colour, P. Ball
  • Hobson Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases
  • The Walkers Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs. T. Gooley
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