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on 25 April 2017
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This book fails not in content but in the presentation and style it is written in. What I think makes most of the VSI books great is that it is easy for a layman in the field to pick them up and get a good broad understanding of the subject area and have an enjoyable read.

Where this book goes wrong is:
- Over use of explanations or latin names in parenthesis. There is barely a sentence in this book that doesn't have detail text in parenthesis some sentences barely get a single word between a closing and opening parenthesis. The information in these does little for non-experts in the fields and actually detracts from the information.
- Too much jargon. I know that botanists have their special jargon like every field but there is a balancing point in how much of this can be presented in an introductory text. Especially where small nuances in latin pre or suffixes are sometimes the only thing that differentiates a substantially different family of plants.
- The book goes into way too much detail explaining details about a particular type of plants (e.g. the algae) without little context or comparison with the rest. Basically there are too many enumeration of attributes and characteristics that are really not that interesting in the broader picture
- The author fails in addressing and explaining the truly interesting facts that he puts forward. As an example I found it fascinating that brown algae is not a plant but an animal. But the author never explains this beyond stating it as a fact. Why? I have to look elsewhere to answer this question

I think the biggest flaw in this book is that it lacks a central storyline from start to finish. In an introduction such as this the reader needs to be taken on a guided tour of the subject area.

Sadly I cannot recommend this book.
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on 14 May 2012
Don't be mislead by the title of this book 'Plants: A Very Short Introduction' is not short on detail. When Timothy Walker says that Charles Darwin's `Origin of the Species' should be compulsory reading for all first year biology students I would add this book to that list too. In fact anyone from A-Level upwards with an interest in Biology. The book may be a short introduction but it contains everything the keen student needs to learn. It is written in an easy to read humorous style e.g. "Botanically speaking a tree is just a plant with a stick up the middle". All good solid text book information put across in an engaging style and with an excellent chapter on plant conservation. Well done Mr Walker!
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on 20 July 2013
Love the VDI series. Timothy walker is incredibly knowledgeable. A great book for biologists and particularly uni freshers like myself.
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on 18 October 2015
Well squeezed!
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on 3 August 2012
This book presents a useful account of plant evolution, plant biology, plant taxonomy, dispersal and germination of seeds, impact of plants on life and their conservation. In addition, there are many beautiful illustrations. However, the plant biology stuff is a bit boring.

A plant is often defined as an immobile organism that has the ability to photosynthesize. The first plants were the first photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms that emerged. Drugs are not the only thing that we get from plants for which Chinese herbal medicine is probably widely used. Plants also improve the qualities of our lives and provide us food and material as well as habitat for other species.

A majority of countries have signed and ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity. These countries had adopted a Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and made some progress in the plant conservation by the year 2010. In addition, the Millennium Seed Bank Project have contributed to building capacity for plants conservation in many countries. In the future, seeds stored in seed banks can be used for migration of plants from one nature reserve to another.
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