More than 60,000 species of trees are found in an amazing variety of forms, sizes and habitats. Every tree has its own story and here are over 60, selected for their particular resonance and connection with humankind and representing most of the world’s major zones and ecologies. In portraits that combine vivid cultural and historical narrative with a firm scientific grounding, the authors reveal the details of trees from around the world, both familiar and strange. We use timbers for building and creating, have discovered which tree fruits and seeds taste delicious, and which can kill or cure us, and which species can add colour and spirituality to our lives – from the timber of mahogany to the delights of chocolate and pomegranate, from the medicinal tea tree to the deadly manchineel, and from fragrant frankincense to the highly prized dragon’s blood tree.
Artists and botanists alike have been inspired by trees for centuries, and a varied and beautiful range of images from the unrivalled archive at Kew illustrate the stories, to create this enlightening and enchanting book.