The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Biology and Cultivation by Wilhelm Barthlott, Stefan Porembski, Rüdiger Seine, and Inge Theisen is a translation of their popular 2004 book, Karnivoren: Biologie und Kultur Fleischfressender Pflanzen, a title which has quickly become a favorite of mine; and it was a pleasant surprise to see it translated into English for the first time by Oregon's Timber Press. From what I could tell -- having just seen it recently -- it is, page for page, a duplication of the original German work (aside from a new cover and title), right down to photographs and format.
What distinguishes this book from several others currently available to the general public is a very unapologetic -- Germanic -- dedication to scientific detail and history, but written with a broad approachability and skill. From the outset, it reminded me of an easy "hybrid" of 1942’s The Carnivorous Plants with Francis E. Lloyd's clinical approach, fused with that of The Savage Garden and Peter D’Amato’s very practical horticultural instructions. The Curious World covers all of the well-known genera and a few others lesser-so (Colura, Pleurozia, and Arthrobotrys, for example) in a straightforward manner and provides some photographs few have probably ever seen -- scanning electron micrographs (or, if you would prefer, Rasterelektronenmikroskopische) of the trapping mechanisms of Utricularia, Genlisia, Cephalotus, among others. It is profusely illustrated with some great macro photography of plant / insect interaction, worldwide images of the carnivorous plants in the field, along with a bounty of good, stern Teutonic advice on the cultivation of individual species . . .
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