An exploration of how plant behavior and adaptation offer valuable insights for human thriving.
We know that plants are important. They maintain the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They nourish other living organisms and supply psychological benefits to humans as well, improving our moods and beautifying the landscape around us. But plants don't just passively provide. They also take action.
Beronda L. Montgomery explores the vigorous, creative lives of organisms often treated as static and predictable. In fact, plants are masters of adaptation. They "know" what and who they are, and they use this knowledge to make a way in the world. Plants experience a kind of sensation that does not require eyes or ears. They distinguish kin, friend, and foe, and they are able to respond to ecological competition despite lacking the capacity of fight-or-flight. Plants are even capable of transformative behaviors that allow them to maximize their chances of survival in a dynamic and sometimes unfriendly environment.
Lessons from Plants enters into the depth of botanic experience and shows how we might improve human society by better appreciating not just what plants give us but also how they achieve their own purposes. What would it mean to learn from these organisms, to become more aware of our environments and to adapt to our own worlds by calling on perception and awareness? Montgomery's meditative study puts before us a question with the power to reframe the way we live: What would a plant do?
"Lessons from Plants is an astonishing and luminously written work. By drawing surprising connections between the largely hidden world of plant behavior and the deep problems of human existence, Montgomery vividly illustrates the importance of paying close attention to the intentional behavior of stems, branches, and roots that often escapes our awareness. At once moving, accessible, and edifying, Lessons from Plants is a tour de force of science communication and a profound meditation on the nature of being." --Crystal M. Fleming, author of How to Be Less Stupid about Race
"A comprehensive look into the world of everything green. This book explores the connection between plant behavior and how the same can be introduced into human life and living...An in-depth botanic experience and meditative study into what connects us to our leafy friends." -- "The Telegraph (India)"
About the Author:
Beronda L. Montgomery is MSU Foundation Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology, she was named one of Cell's 100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America and was the winner of the 2021 Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.