BIZARRE PLANTS: Magical, Monstrous, Mythical by William Emboden

BIZARRE PLANTS: Magical, Monstrous, Mythical

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What floral monstrosity grows to 17 feet and emits a ""very powerful"" stench suggesting a ""mixture of rotten fish and burnt sugar?"" The Amorphophallus of Sumatra. Can parsley attract Satan? What herbs have been used as aphrodisiacs, charms, or talismans? The fabled coco-de-mcr? the undersea forest near Java, whose leaves and branches project above the surface of the water, whose seeds resemble the female pelvis? The magnificent arbor which drips dragon's blood? Dr. Emboden, professor of biology, tells it all. Emboden traces botanical folk history from ancient Egypt through the Middle Ages. And the ginseng, extolled by Lao-tse? He relates its Oriental lore and its Occidental research. The mythological ""trees of life"" of Assurbanipal, Eden, and the Norse universe? It's ali in the book, along with other teratological ditties. A collection of askew -- but pleasant -- material.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1974
Publisher: Macmillan