Quality human life is only possible with the biological, chemical, neurological, and even cultural benefits of co-existing with plants. Renowned botany expert Stefano Mancuso shares his high esteem for our plant relatives through essays depicting how plants have influenced humanity in Planting Our World. Originally written in Italian, the book was translated into English by Gregory Conti. Mancuso shares memorable stories about plant life, its relationship with human achievement, and history in various fields. The author’s storytelling approach is nuanced and engaging, as he anchors the poignant contributions of greenery to humanity’s past and future.
I reveled in Mancuso’s sincere fascination with plants as a novice gardener. The vignettes highlighted in the book are awe-inspiring and informative. I learned that concentric rings of trees are linked with solar activity, and the importance of botany in forensic investigations. Mancuso has a distinctive storytelling style, often causing the vignettes to meander a bit. However, he always brings back the story to the topic at hand, making the throughlines visible.
Planting Our World is a timely read for anyone concerned about how climate change is threatening our finite resources, with forests at the center stage of ecological demise. Mancuso’s latest love letter to plants is a call to action to ensure the survival of our species.