The 15 Most Popular Botany Books for Nature Lovers

Looking for the best botany books? I’ve got you covered.

The list below contains exquisitely written books about botany that explore various aspects of our natural world. 

1. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer | Botany books

In Braiding SweetgrassRobin Wall Kimmerer shows how other life forms—salamanders, sweetgrass, asters and goldenrod—offer us lessons and gifts. 

Kimmerer argues that, to awaken our ecological consciousness, we must acknowledge and celebrate our mutual relationship with other living beings.

What’s in it for you: a book that will teach you to appreciate the generosity of the earth and give your own gifts in return 

2. The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan

In the 1600s, a Dutchman bought a single tulip bulb at the same price as a townhouse in Amsterdam.  

In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan explores a puzzling question: how men can desire some flowers so much that they end up in financial ruin?

Michael asserts that the answer lies within the mutual relationship between plants and people.

What’s in it for you: an absorbing journey that will revolutionize how you think about your place in nature. 

3. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

In The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben explains life, death, and regeneration in forests.

Peter draws on new discoveries to explain the science behind the secret life of trees. 

What’s in it for you: a groundbreaking work on trees and their communication abilities

4. Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart

In Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart discusses the earth’s most vicious creations.

The book is an encyclopedia of plants that offend, intoxicate, maim, and kill.  

What’s in it for you: a collection of spine-chilling botany that will educate, entertain, and scare even fearless nature lovers

5. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Hope Jahren is a renowned scientist who has three laboratories for studying flowers, seeds, trees, and soil. 

Lab Girl is both a treatise on plants and a memoir about Hope’s remarkable journeys in science; it’s a book about love, work, and the seemingly insurmountable odds that can be overcome when those two things collide.

The book will open your eyes to the magnificent, delicate mechanisms within every blade of grass, leaf, and flower petal.

What’s in it for you: a magnificently fresh look at plants that will change how you see nature

7. The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson

The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson

In The Triumph of Seeds, award-winning writer Thor Hanson delves deep into the lives of seeds—he discusses not how things grow from seeds, but the seeds themselves.

What’s in it for you: a thrilling scientific adventure about seeds

8. Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons

Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons

Stalking the Wild Asparagus is a book about gathering wild natural food and environmental preservation—about turning ordinary vegetables and fruits into delicious meals. 

What’s in it for you

  • an astounding book about living off the land
  • recipes for bread, muffins, cakes, vegetable and casserole dishes, and 20 various pies

9. Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel

Botany in a Day by Thomas J. Elpel

Botany in a Day will teach you a faster, easier way to identify plants using similar characteristics. 

The book introduces the most common eight plant families—applicable to over 45,000 plant species.

What’s in it for you: an excellent book for connecting more deeply to nature and discovering amazing plants

10. The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

In The Drunken Botanist, Amy Stewart discusses the flowers, fruits, herbs, and trees that have been transformed into alcohol throughout history.

What’s in it for you

  • an essential guide to botany and booze
  • over 50 drink recipes and tips for gardeners

11. The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

In The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean follows an eccentric man named John Laroche who is determined to clone a flower facing extinction. 

John takes Orlean on a memorable journey through America’s peculiar flower-selling world, finding allies on the way who help him and forces of justice who try to stop him.

What’s in it for you: a fascinating tale about obsession

12. What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz

What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz

In What a Plant Knows, Daniel Chamovitz explores how plants experience the world around them.

Daniel delves deep into plants’ inner lives, finding similarities with human senses that show that we have more in common with oak trees and sunflowers than we think. 

What’s in it for you: a rare inside look into how plants make sense of their surroundings

13. The Big, Bad Book of Botany by Michael Largo

The Big, Bad Book of Botany by Michael Largo

The Big, Bad Book of Botany will take you on a historical and agricultural journey through the evolution of hundreds of plants, disclosing shocking information along the way. 

The book will introduce you to toxic teas, superfoods, and mushrooms. You’ll discover valuable plants that have started wars, tricky plants that have found devious ways to survive over the centuries, and deadly plants that can kill with a single taste.

What’s in it for you:

  • an intriguing book that will change how we look at nature
  • over 150 photos and illustrations
Fifty Plants That Changed the Course of History by Bill Laws

This book discusses plants that have impacted human civilization the most. It includes plant descriptions, botanical names, native ranges, and primary functions—medicinal, commercial, practical, or edible.

What’s in it for you

  • fascinating stories about civilization-changing plants
  • Elegant botanical photos, paintings, and drawings

15. Weeds by Richard Mabey

In Weeds, Richard Mabey explores how weeds became villains of nature; he shows how these plants can destroy ecosystems yet restore ruined cities and war zones. 

More important, in the defense of the plants we love to condemn, Richard argues that our reckless treatment of the earth has caused plants to become weeds.

What’s in it for you: the true story of the plants we hate

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