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What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses F First Edition Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0374288730
ISBN-10: 0374288739
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Editorial Reviews


One of Amazon's Ten Best Science & Math Books of 2012

One of Chicago Tribune's Favorite Books of 2012

A Los Angeles Times 2012 Summer Reading Selection

"Of the dozens of books I read in 2012, several stand out. But there's one I keep coming back to, thumbing through it, letting people know about it. It's Daniel Chamovitz's What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses . . . It's incredibly interesting material, presented in an entertaining and fun way — in about only 140 pages. What A Plant Knows is a nice fit on my shelf of gardening books — and that's where it will stay. Although I've recommended the book to several people, I've ungraciously not let them borrow my copy. I fear I won't get it back." —Chicago Tribune

"The reader...will find enough absorbing science to concede that plants continue to inspire and amaze us. It's time, as Joni Mitchell sang at Woodstock, 'to get ourselves back to the garden' and take a closer look at plants."—The Wall Street Journal

"This elegantly written account of plant biology will change the way you see your garden...Chamovitz lets us see plants in a new light, one which reveals their true wonder."—The Guardian

"Thick with eccentric plant experiments and astonishing plant science."—Sunday Times (UK) 

"Plants may be brainless, eyeless and devoid of senses as we know them, but they have a rudimentary 'awareness', says biologist Daniel Chamovitz. In this beautiful reframing of the botanical, he reveals the extent and kind of that awareness through a bumper crop of research."—Nature

“Like us, a plant that aspires to win the rat race must exploit its environment. Even a daffodil can detect when you’re standing in its light, and a rhododendron knows when you’re savaging its neighbor with the pruning shears. With deftness and clarity, Daniel Chamovitz introduces plants’ equivalent of our senses, plus floral forms of memory and orientation. When you realize how much plants know, you may think twice before you bite them.” —Hannah Holmes, author of Quirk and Suburban Safari

“Just as his groundbreaking research uncovered connections between the plant- and animal kingdoms, Daniel Chamovitz’s insights in What a Plant Knows transcend the world of plants. This entertaining and educational book is filled with wondrous examples that underscore how the legacy of shared genomes enables plants and animals to respond to their environments. You’ll see plants in a new light after reading What a Plant Knows.” —Gloria M. Coruzzi, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University

“If you’ve ever marveled at how and why plants make the choices they do, What a Plant Knows holds your answer. Chamovitz is a master at translating the science of botany into the language of the layman.” —Michael Malice, author, subject of Ego & Hubris, and succulent enthusiast

“Chamovitz walks the Homo sapiens reader right into the shoes—or I should say roots—of the plant world. After reading this book you will never again walk innocently past a plant or reach insensitively for a leaf. You will marvel and be haunted by a plant’s sensory attributes and the shared genes between the plant and animals kingdoms.” —Elisabeth Tova Bailey, author of The Sound of the Wild Snail Eatin

What a Plant Knows is lively, eloquent, scientifically accurate, and easy to read. I commend this engaging text to all who wonder about life on earth and seek a compelling introduction to the lives of plants as revealed through centuries of careful scientific experimentation.” —Professor Stephen D. Hopper, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

“By comparing human senses to the abilities of plants to adapt to their surroundings, the author provides a fascinating and logical explanation of how plants survive despite the inability to move from one site to another. Backed by new research on plant biology, this is an intriguing look at a plant's consciousness.” —Kirkus

About the Author

Daniel Chamovitz, Ph.D., is the director of the Manna Center for Plant Biosciences at Tel Aviv University. He has served as a visiting scientist at Yale University and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and has lectured at universities around the world. His research has appeared in leading scientific journals. Chamovitz lives with his wife and three children in Hod HaSharon, Israel.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux; F First Edition edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374288739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374288730
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #591,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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on June 14, 2012
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on July 2, 2012
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on July 8, 2012
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