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Seeds: Time Capsules of Life [Hardcover]

Rob Kesseler , Wolfgang Stuppy , Alexandra Papadakis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Sep 2009
Art and science collaborate on a fascinating story with extraordinary images in a highly-acclaimed book Seeds, the most complex organs produced by plants, ensure the biodiversity of our planet. They vary from the impressive Seychelles nut that weighs twenty kilos to the dust-like seeds of the orchids. Some wait for hundreds of years to find the right place and time for germination after travelling thousands of kilometres or just a few centimetres. The evolution of their highly sophisticated structures from prehistoric times to today makes fascinating reading as do the wiles plants use to attract and deceive their chosen pollinators. The extraordinary images that accompany this story provide an unprecedented presentation of the magnificent diversity of seeds in all their exquisite beauty and sophistication. This new edition features over 60 new and never-before-seen SEM images as well as an updated text on the Millennium Seed Bank.

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Seeds: Time Capsules of Life + Fruit 2nd Edition
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Papadakis; 2nd Revised edition edition (18 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906506000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906506001
  • Product Dimensions: 31.4 x 28.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 902,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Unforgettable! Prepare yourself for a feast… you will not be disappointed! --BBC Wildlife, March 2005

Remarkable! Lavishly illustrated with its blown-up images of pollen grains and their parent plants. --Nature, December 2, 2004

An exploration into a mysterious, microscopic world. A visual feast! --Country Life, January 13, 2005 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

A book that will delight, inspire and intrigue.
Professor Sir Peter Crane, Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vibrant visions of pollen 3 Jun 2007
This book has done much to banish my antipathy to pollen. Yes the fertile dust might make my life a misery for a few weeks each year - but it is just so beautiful. Kesseler and Harley, artist and scientist, have taken on a remarkable challenge. To present the intimate details of a plant's sex life in the context of the aesthetics of the containers of sperm.

The book opens with a gentle reminder of half forgotten biology lessons. The sex life of plants is taken far from the dry textbook and into a lush world of colour and improbably complex shapes. Images that have been mediated through computers from the electron microscope manage to take on the sensuality and eroticism of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings. The anther of the Witch Hazel peers like the eye of a crab; cowslip presents a turtle-faced grain and the common daisy has pollen that could double as a space ship.

Perhaps the most delightful section of the book is the series of paired images of pollen and flowers - the microscopic detail of the pollen as stunning as the more accessible beauty of the plant itself.

Pollen is so small. It was only in the late seventeenth century that it was identified as the stuff of life. Madeline Harley, an internationally renowned expert on pollen, takes us through the history of discovery, right up to the developments in microscopy that have allowed the exquisite forms to be revealed.

While Harley's interest is understandable, artist Rob Kesseler's obsession is quite surprising. He has been collecting, preparing and studying plants and their pollen for years. He worked recently at Kew Gardens where he strung banners, featuring hugely magnified grains of pollen, among the trees.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book 10 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book, delicate and impressive. Another one in Rob Kessler's series that are always worth looking at; informative and beautiful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good purchase! 20 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Everything was fine! I received the book in time and in good condition! and it was easy to follow the post on line. The book has really nice pictures too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pollen photos 9 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
You'll never look at plants in the same light again. Really shows you the wonders of the natural world, hidden away at near atomic level! (OK, not atomic, but it does feel like it).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Whats not to love 5 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
hidden from view until the microscope was discovered. It is as if someone hid the design until we were old enough to find it! Marvelous. Truly marvelous
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