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Books About Plants

Updated: Mar 26


A closeup of veins in a plant

Plants are amazing. They make their own food from sunlight! I’ve never studied horticulture formally, but I can spend hours dreaming about my miniature, urban garden space. I love tending to my plants and creating landscapes that will feed and nourish pollinators. If you are a plant nerd like me, check out this list of the best books about plants. I bet you have a few on the list already. If you don’t, you’ll most certainly have a few to add to your “to read” pile. I originally planned to do a joint list for books about plants and gardening, but decided to break it up. This list focuses more on the stories of plants than the “how to” books in the post about gardening. Just a quick reminder that if you click on one of the links, I may make a commission at no additional charge to you. The links below will take you to Amazon. If you prefer to support independent bookstores, check out my curated lists on Bookshop.com.

Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan



Botany of Desire

If you spend any time on this website, you’ll realize pretty quickly that I am a big fan of Michael Pollan. Botany of Desire was one of his early books, first published in 2001. The book has staying power for sure. Pollan focuses the book on the connection between humans and plants. Particularly, he looks at how humans have domesticated plants and changed them to suit our needs. The structure of the books focuses on human desires – sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control. He then pairs each desire with a plant: apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato. A documentary was made based on the book and under the same name.

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer

What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses By Daniel Chamovitz

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

What we Sow by Jennifer Jewell

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy

Plantopedia by  Lauren Camilleri & Sophia Kaplan 

The Milkweed Lands: An Epic Story of One Plant: Its Nature and Ecology by  Eric Lee-Mäder & Beverly Duncan   


All of the above links will take you to Amazon. If you prefer to browse or shop at Barnes & Noble, click on one of the book cover images below. Reminder, if you click on a link and purchase an item within 24 hours, I will earn a small commission at no cost to you.



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