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Rooted in Time

Living Fossils and Other Tenacious Plants

Carole T. Gee
illustrated by Channing Redford

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An intriguing portrait of persistent plants with deep roots that have survived eons on earth, featuring exquisite watercolors and numerous color photos.

Plants are tenacious organisms. Their green ancestors were among the earliest living beings on Earth, while clubmosses and ferns that arose 400 million years ago still thrive in the moist understory of temperate and tropical forests. Plants like these are considered "living fossils," as they have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years or are the sole survivors of their once diverse lineage. In Rooted in Time, paleobotanist Carole...

An intriguing portrait of persistent plants with deep roots that have survived eons on earth, featuring exquisite watercolors and numerous color photos.

Plants are tenacious organisms. Their green ancestors were among the earliest living beings on Earth, while clubmosses and ferns that arose 400 million years ago still thrive in the moist understory of temperate and tropical forests. Plants like these are considered "living fossils," as they have remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years or are the sole survivors of their once diverse lineage. In Rooted in Time, paleobotanist Carole T. Gee shares stories of the remarkable plants that first appeared eons ago, yet still green the planet today.

This romp through the plant kingdom begins 3,500 million years ago, with the first photosynthesizing organisms on earth—the cyanobacteria. It then leads us down fascinating evolutionary paths to the ancient cousins of the evergreen wreaths on your own front door. Rooted in Time highlights more than eighteen plants with extreme longevity, exploring their botanical significance, cultural importance, natural history, and ethnobotanical usefulness. Between the plant vignettes, Gee explains how plants met the challenges of growing in new habitats and ecological niches by conquering life on land, evolving seeds and cones, and making flowers.

Rooted in Time pulls together facts from cutting-edge paleontological research and botanical science to offer engaging narratives on unique plants that grace our world with their quiet dignity and extraordinary longevity. Lavishly illustrated with more than a hundred color photos and exquisite watercolor portraits, this book will appeal to plant lovers at all levels—from avid gardeners and botanical garden enthusiasts to college students and plant science professionals.

Reviews

Reviews

Carole Gee has produced a personal and engaging book that will educate and satisfy the botanical community—nature enthusiasts, gardeners, and botanists of all genres—about the deep time history of plants growing on Earth today. Her distinctive mix of science and personal experience with each chapter's species makes for an enjoyable read.

A fast-paced and beautifully illustrated tour through the most interesting aspects of some of the unique plants in our modern world. Unique because, although they are unusual and often unfamiliar to us today, they show in strikingly vivid detail and color the types of vegetation that dominated landscapes millions of years ago, sometimes well before the dinosaurs.

This is a wonderful book of botanical pilgrimages, from stromatolite-teaming Shark Bay in Australia to fog-enshrouded forests of Japanese umbrella pine: a plant-centric travelogue through deep geological time and space, teaming with botanical facts and personal anecdotes, as Carole Gee ponders whether the plants in her beautifully written and researched book qualify as 'living fossils.'

Rooted In Time leads us through the evolutionary pageantry of new plant forms evolving, rising to stardom, becoming dominant, losing out to new arrivals, but hanging on, somewhere, somehow: horsetails and clubmosses relegated to supporting roles, trees such as umbrella pines or ginkgo thrown back to tiny relic areas. Time travel with plants—a fascinating read on our green planet.

Rooted in Time is a testament to a life spent loving and studying plants. Approachable and heartfelt, Gee's work is filled with stories that build bridges between the plants of today and botanical relics of the past. With both beautifully illustrated watercolors and vibrant photos, this book will educate and inspire those who are curious about the longevity of plants over paleontological time. Highly recommended for gardeners, horticulturalists, and budding botanists of all ages.

About

Book Details

Release Date
Publication Date
Status
Preorder
Trim Size
6.125
x
9.25
Pages
280
ISBN
9781421449388
Illustration Description
135 color photos, 12 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface: The Making of a Plant Lover
Part I
1. Living Fossils: Morphological Look-Alikes, Tenacious Survivors, and Relict Members of Ancient Lineages
2. Cyanobacteria and Stromatolites: The Toughest and

Preface: The Making of a Plant Lover
Part I
1. Living Fossils: Morphological Look-Alikes, Tenacious Survivors, and Relict Members of Ancient Lineages
2. Cyanobacteria and Stromatolites: The Toughest and Longest-Lived Green Survivors
Part II
3. Standing Tall
4. Clubmosses & Co.
5. The Horsetail or Scouring Rush Equisetum
6. Ferns and Tree Ferns
Part III
7. Bearing Seeds and Woody Cones
8. Cycads
9. The Maidenhair Tree Ginkgo
10. Araucarias, Kauris, and the Wollemi Pine
11. Podocarps
12. The Dawn Redwood Metasequoia
13. The Japanese Umbrella Pine Sciadopitys
Part IV
14. Coming Into Flower
15. The Waterlilies Nymphaea and Nuphar
16. The Sacred Lotus Nelumbo
17. The Mangrove Palm Nypa
Index

Author Bios
Carole T. Gee
Featured Contributor

Carole T. Gee

Carole T. Gee is a paleobotanist, botanist, and professor of paleontology at the University of Bonn in Germany. She is the author of Plants in Mesozoic Time: Morphological Innovations, Phylogeny, Ecosystems, and the coauthor of Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals.
Featured Contributor

Channing Redford

Channing Redford is an architect who studied botanical art and illustration at the New York Botanical Garden.