"A wild ride through the plant world."--The American Gardener An entertaining and enlightening compendium of the world's most amazing and bizarre plants, revealing their secrets, history, and lore What happens when you give a plant a polygraph test? Can a flower really turn a human into a zombie? What gives the gingko tree its stink? The Big, Bad Book of Botany holds the incredible answers to all of these questions and more. From absinthe to zubrowka (a popular ingredient in Polish vodkas), award-winning author Michael Largo takes you through the historical and agricultural evolution of hundreds of plant species, revealing astonishing facts along the way. You'll be introduced to magic mushrooms, superfoods, and toxic teas. You'll learn about plants so valuable they have started international wars, so evolved they can trick animals into helping them survive, and so deadly a single taste of one will kill you. Featuring more than one hundred and forty illustrations, this fascinating and fun A-to-Z encyclopedia for all ages will transform the way you look at the natural world. Did you know? The word hashish comes from the Arabic hashshashin, the name for a group of Persian assassins who were given the drug to calm their nerves before each assignment. The fossil of the oldest-known tree to have thrived on the planet was found in New York's Catskill Mountains, and dates back to more than 360 million years ago. The avocado, though delicious to humans, is toxic to most animals. Sunflowers grow according to a mathematical formula known as the "golden ratio," and almost always produce exactly 55 or 144 seeds. Featuring more than 150 photographs and illustrations, The Big, Bad Book of Botany is a fascinating, fun A-to-Z encyclopedia for all ages that will transform the way we look at the natural world.