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Publisher's Summary

An impassioned memoir of saving extraordinary plants on the brink of extinction, by a scientist who has been called a "codebreaker" (Telegraph) and "an inspiration" (Jane Goodall)

Carlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has traveled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors.

In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes listeners from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius to deep within the Australian Outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab, we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Along the way, he offers moving, heartfelt stories about the secrets contained within these incredible organisms.

Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet and the importance of preserving it.

©2018 Carlos Magdalena (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“An entertaining, planterly romp around the world and a glimpse inside one of the world's great botanical institutions.” (Financial Times)

“Magdalena’s claim to be a green-fingered Jesus has its merits. His record of propagating plants that others have consigned to botanical history is impressive....  Some 30,000 plants have recorded uses for humans. Most people, the messiah preaches, are blind to these everyday miracles. This book will teach them to see.” (The Economist)

“This full-throttle memoir is a window on the exploits that underpin the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew... [His quests] reveal the rare mix of zeal and patience needed to hunt vanishing plants.” (Nature)

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Very informative, sometimes irritating

The author is very pleased with himself, to a degree that almost made me stop listening.
But there were some great plant stories and it does seem an important subject.
But come on, what kind of person would use the word Messiah, referring to themselves, even jokingly, in the title
of their book?

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Great for anyone who cares about conservation and is interested in botany

Interesting personal story of Carlos Magdalena and anecdotes of species that he helped bring back. Nice introduction to horticultural practices as well.