Amy Stewart-flower Confidential

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Amy Stewart-flower Confidential

Tampering with nature isn’t all it’s cut out to be.

Botany has never been much of a conversation starter.

Chlorophyll can only be so sexy. For most of us, diagrams of a flower’s stigma and filament began a long high-school career of doodling in biology class.

Still, there’s something worthwhile to be said about flowers, particularly their business, a global industry that rakes in an easy $40 billion. More flowers are bought than Big Macs, and that, these days, is saying something.

flower Confidential by Amy Stewart does something most professors only dream of doing: It makes flowers interesting—to a point, of course. The book captures the attention of the everyday person with legends of the first blue rose and the race to make the perfect flower. Still, more often than one might wish, the text bogs down in methodical language that can make the chapters, while intelligent, equally laborious.

Despite the conversational approach to a usually tepid subject, sometimes science is just science. No amount of flowery language can change that. Stewart’s writing is impressive; it’s the subject matter that doesn’t always bloom.