02 March 2009

Wicked Plants Entertain and Delight

Algonquin Books will release Amy Stewart's
highly anticipated new book in May.


I just received a preview copy and read most of it. What a trip it is to read: The history of poisonings, murders and plant-induced hallucinations.

Many of us avid readers know that the women of Salem would have been spared the witch trials if science had prevailed. The rye had spoiled and they were poisoned, leading to erratic behavior.

But many of the stories, Stewart has pulled into this great little volume, were new to me.

In addition to the pure fun of the information for plant people, there is a serious warning to parents and pet owners: The careless eating of many plants can be harmful to health.

Leaves, berries, roots, sap and brushing up against some plants will cause problems from itchy rashes to nausea and worse. As a poison ivy rash sufferer I understand that problem. Euphorbia sap does not bother my skin though I know it does bother others.

I do not indiscriminately eat things in a park or in the woods and I always wonder who is.

Amy Stewart's "Wicked Plants: A Book of Botanical Atrocities" is 256 pages packed with information that is a delight to read and good to know.

If Stewart's name is new to you, here is a link to her site. There you will find a link to her blog and more examples of her down to earth wit and wisdom.

2 comments:

Red Icculus said...

This book really interests me. Are there citations, or are these stories anecdotal?

Martha said...

It's a great read, Red.

Stewart does not give citations for every story but she spent 2 years on the research and at the end of the book there are 4 pages of references.

Ask your library or bookstore to get it. The ISBN is

13:978-1-56512-683-1