Plants That Kill: a natural history of the world’s most poisonous plants

Plants That Kill: a natural history of the world’s most poisonous plants

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Plants That Kill: a natural history of the world’s most poisonous plants

Plants that Kill is a fascinating and beautifully presented exploration of the world’s most poisonous plants, their strategies for survival, the unique properties of their poisonous compounds, and the impact these have on animals – and humans in particular.

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Description

Description

Plants represent the main source of food for many of the world’s animals, and since they are unable to move away from the herbivores that feed on them (or the fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms that attack them), they need other means of protecting themselves. One self-defence strategy they have developed is the production of poisonous and noxious compounds that deter potential attackers.


The variety of compounds that plants have evolved in this fight for survival is extraordinary, and examples of them can be found throughout the world and in many different plant families. The range of mechanisms through which these potentially lethal plants exert their effects is also diverse – the effects of some will be felt after being eaten just once, others after repeated exposure; for some the effects are felt after skin or eye exposure.


Plants that Kill is a fascinating and beautifully presented exploration of the world’s most poisonous plants, their strategies for survival, the unique properties of their poisonous compounds, and the impact these have on animals – and humans in particular.


Read the i news feature: Poisonous plants are the surprise sources of many medicines


Review in Botany One 


Elizabeth Dauncey has a degree in Botany and a PhD in Plant Taxonomy. She spent most of her career working for the Poisons Unit of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust in London, on joint initiatives with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, including identification systems for poisonous plants and fungi for use by hospitals managing poisoning cases. Liz is author of Poisonous Plants: A Guide for Parents and Childcare Providers (Kew Publishing, 2010). Since 2012, she has worked for Kew’s Medicinal Plant Names Services.


Sonny Larsson is a licensed pharmacist with a PhD in Pharmacognosy. He worked as an associate professor in pharmacognosy at Uppsala University and Luleå University of Technology, before taking up a position as a phytochemist. He has also worked at the Botanical Garden, Natural History Museum of Denmark, studying the evolution of chemical characters in plants. Since 2013, he has worked for the Swedish Poison Information Centre, focusing on plant poisonings, herbal drugs and dietary supplements.

Additional Info

Additional Info

  1. Authors: Elizabeth A. Dauncey and Sonny Larsson
  2. 224pp. 400 colour photographs. 280 x 215 mm. Hardback
  3. ISBN 978 1 84246 657 5
  4. Kew Publishing, 2018

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