Gods and Goddesses in the Garden: Greco-Roman Mythology and the Scientific Names of Plants
Zeus, Medusa, Hercules, Aphrodite. Did you know that these and other dynamic deities, heroes, and monsters of Greek and Roman mythology live on in the names of trees and flowers? Some grow in your local woodlands or right in your own backyard garden. In this delightful book, botanist Peter Bernhardt reveals the rich history and mythology that underlie the origins of many scientific plant names. Unlike other books about botanical taxonomy that take the form of heavy and intimidating lexicons, Bernhardt's account comes together in a series of interlocking stories. Each chapter opens with a short version of a classical myth, then links the tale to plant names, showing how each plant "resembles" its mythological counterpart with regard to its history, anatomy, life cycle, and conservation. You will learn, for example, that as our garden acanthus wears nasty spines along its leaf margins, it is named for the nymph who scratched the face of Apollo. The shape-shifting god, Proteus, gives his name to a whole family of shrubs and trees that produce colorful flowering branches in an astonishing number of sizes and shapes. Amateur and professional gardeners, high school teachers and professors of biology, botanists and conservationists alike will appreciate this book's entertaining and informative entry to the otherwise daunting field of botanical names. Engaging, witty, and memorable, Gods and Goddesses in the Garden transcends the genre of natural history and makes taxonomy a topic equally at home in the classroom and at cocktail parties.
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Africa American ancient Aphrodite apple Asia Asteraceae Australia beautiful belong binomial bloom blossoms botanists Botany bulbs bushes called carpels centaur century classical color common name Cronus Cypripedium daisy family daughter deities diﬀerent Dionysus edible eﬀect Eidothea Europe female ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂeshy ﬂoral ﬂow ﬂowering stalk ﬂowers foliage forests fruit genera genus genus name goddess gods grass Greco-Roman Greek grow Helios hemisphere Hera Heracles herbal herbs honor identiﬁcation insisted island John Lindley Jovibarba King Latin leaf leaves lily Lindley Linnaeus Linnaeus named living male medicine Mediterranean Mediterranean basin Missouri Botanical Garden molecules myth named the genus native nectar northern nymph Odysseus oﬀ oﬀer Orchidaceae orchids organs Perseus petals pistil plant names Poaceae pollen princess produce Queen refer reﬂect Roman roots scientiﬁc names seeds sepals shrub South America southern specimen stamens stems synonym taxonomists taxonomy Titan tree tropical vine wild wildﬂowers woody Zeus