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Botanical Progress, Horticultural Innovations and Cultural Changes

Botanical Progress, Horticultural Innovations and Cultural Changes

Edited by Michel Conan and W. John Kress

ISBN 9780884023272

Publication date: 06/30/2007

From Roman times to the present, knowledge of plants and their cultivation have exerted a deep impact on cultural changes. This book highlights the religious, artistic, political, and economic consequences of horticultural pursuits.

Far from a mere trade, horticulture profoundly affected Jewish and Persian mystical poetry and caused deep changes in Ottoman arts. It contributed to economic and political changes in Judea, Al Andalus, Japan, Yuan China, early modern Mexico, Europe, and the United States. This book explores the roles of peasants, botanists, horticulturists, nurserymen and gentlemen collectors in these developments, and concludes with a reflection on the future of horticulture in the present context of widespread environmental devastation and ecological uncertainty.


  • Michel Conan is the former Director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.
  • W. John Kress is Chairman of the Department of Botany at Smithsonian Institution.

Book Details

  • Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection