Book Review - Hortus Curious by Michael Perry

 I have known Micheal Perry for some years now, we have followed each other on X/Twitter  for a long (long) time and we have met at various gardening events over the years.  I followed his many adventures and I was immediately interested when I saw that Michael had written a book.

I was given this book but not with the intention that I would review it.  I have not paid for this book and I am not expected by anyone to write about it.  My words and opinions are my own. 

This is a fabulous book full of fascinating well researched information about all sorts of plants.  The book is organised into chapters such as 'Plants behaving badly, Super Heroes, Mistaken Identity and X-rated to name but a few.  This is a book designed to interest people who are already into plants and those who are not.  Michael starts each plant description with how tall it is, where it is from, where is its natural habitat, how pollinated and can you grow it at home (at which point I would suggest that might depend on where you live....(pendantic- moi?)

There are some incredible plants profiled in this book: I had never heard of Hura crepitans, the dynamite tree which apparently has seeds pods that crack open with the sound of a gunshot and propel their seeds at 160mph.  

There are plants I have heard of such as Hevea brasiliensis, the Rubber Tree, but this does not make the profile any less interesting and it had information that I did not know.

Michael does enjoy a nice bit of 'double entendre' and plants that look a bit saucy or have saucy names are very much his forte so it was no surprise to see the X-rated section in the book.  There are some amazing plants in this section and even the most allegedly grown up of us will find it hard to smother a smile at some of them.

The book is beautifully illustrated throughout by Aaron Apsley and they are the perfect companion to the text.  
I really enjoyed this book, I think it would make an ideal gift for someone you know who enjoys learning interesting facts about nature and also for someone who might not think they are that interested in nature until they get pulled into reading this from cover to cover.  

Hortus Curious by Michael Perry is published by DK Books.  If you buy it directly from Michael's website you can get a signed edition with small gifts (correct at the time of writing). 

Take care and be kind.

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