Miraculous stories of saving rare flowers from the legendary Kew Gardens plant hunter.
Carlos Magdalena of Kew Gardens is not your average botanical horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants from destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors. He is a plant messiah.
From the planet's tiniest waterlily - the Nymphaea thermarum - to Huarango trees with roots over 50 metres long, Carlos has a miraculous ability to bring breathtakingly beautiful plants back from the brink of extinction. He has travelled to the most remote and dangerous parts of the world - from the mountains of Peru to isolated Indian Ocean islands to the deepest Australian outback - in search of the rarest exotic species. Then, back in the Tropical Nursery at Kew, he uses pioneering, left-field techniques to help them grow.
Now he's here to spread the gospel. The Plant Messiah is the inspirational story of a man who has devoted - and risked - his life to save incredible species, all in the name of making this Earth a greener and happier place. Amen to that.
“Thrillingly uplifting, beguiling, compelling. Reads like a detective novel”
“An entertaining, planterly romp around the world and a glimpse inside one of the world's great botanical institutions. Swimming with electric eels, discovering the world's smallest waterlily, and an endangered palm about to be weeded to extinction. Worthy of the nineteenth-century plant hunters, some of whom died for their calling”
Jane Owen, Financial Times
“An important, engaging piece of work”
“This full-throttle memoir is a window on the exploits that underpin the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew . . . reveals the rare mix of zeal and patience needed to hunt vanishing plants”
“Marvellous. A swashbuckling narrative of adventures in the field . . . anywhere from Mauritius to South America”
Richard Mabey, Daily Telegraph