Cover: Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America, from Harvard University PressCover: Fruits and Plains in HARDCOVER

Fruits and Plains

The Horticultural Transformation of America

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$57.00 • £45.95 • €51.50

ISBN 9780674026636

Publication Date: 02/28/2008

Short

352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

37 halftones, 6 line illustrations, 11 maps

World

The engineering of plants has a long history on this continent. Fields, forests, orchards, and prairies are the result of repeated campaigns by amateurs, tradesmen, and scientists to introduce desirable plants, both American and foreign, while preventing growth of alien riff-raff. These horticulturists coaxed plants along in new environments and, through grafting and hybridizing, created new varieties. Over the last 250 years, their activities transformed the American landscape.

“Horticulture” may bring to mind white-glove garden clubs and genteel lectures about growing better roses. But Philip J. Pauly wants us to think of horticulturalists as pioneer “biotechnologists,” hacking their plants to create a landscape that reflects their ambitions and ideals. Those standards have shaped the look of suburban neighborhoods, city parks, and the “native” produce available in our supermarkets.

In telling the histories of Concord grapes and Japanese cherry trees, the problem of the prairie and the war on the Medfly, Pauly hopes to provide a new understanding of not only how horticulture shaped the vegetation around us, but how it influenced our experiences of the native, the naturalized, and the alien—and how better to manage the landscapes around us.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2009 Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Annual Literature Award, General Interest Category
Selected Titles on Making Modern South Asia [abstract yellow and green flowers]

Recent News

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.