The April Boneyard Bookworm’s selection is part of the Longwood Gardens community read program: Weird Plants by Chris Thorogood. Our Horticulturist, Gregg Tepper will be joining the discussion to answer questions and discuss regional weird plants.
In this little book of horrors, Chris Thorogood reveals the weird, the wonky, and the sinister specimens he has encountered during his travels in the wide world of plants. Far from passively absorbing the sun’s rays, these plants kill, steal and kidnap, making them dynamic participants in the ecosystems around them. From orchids that duplicitously look, feel and even smell like a female insect to bamboozle sex-crazed male bees to giant pitcher plants that have evolved toilets for tree shrews to carnivorous plants that drug, drown, and consume unsuspecting insect prey, Weird Plants takes us deep inside the worlds of plants whose imaginative and calculating survival methods are startlingly reminiscent of human schemes.
To guide us through these unfamiliar plantscapes, Thorogood has organized his book into seven categories fit for a horror film: Vampires, Killers, Fraudsters, Jailers, Accomplices, Survivors, and Hitchhikers. These categories take us through a variety of plant life and around the world, documenting the remote corners where many of these specimens are found. Through the combination of Thorogood’s oil paintings and botanical expertise, these fantastic plants come alive on the page.