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The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behaviour
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The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behaviour

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  310 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Based on the immensely popular six-part BBC program that will air in the United States during the fall of 1995, this book offers what writer/filmmaker David Attenborough is best known for delivering: an intimate view of the natural world wherein a multitude of miniature dramas unfold. In the program and book, both titled The Private Life of Plants, Attenborough treks throu ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by Princeton University Press (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

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If you love to marvel at the creation and the intracacies of the web of life, this is a great walk-through book with fascinating but never tendentious text and lavish photographs illustrating many of the wondrous plants and creatures it explains.

Whether David Attenborough actually wrote the text or just lent his name to the enterprise, this is a good book drawn from a PBS series. You can learn everything from how orchids tempt some bees to pollinate them by displaying a petal that looks like a f
Jun 05, 2010 Adam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Adam by: Christopher Owen
David Attenborough reveals the wondrous diversity and the beautiful stories of the plant (and fungus) world. In the elegant prose of a true British naturalist, he shows rather than tells the way adaptation of similar structures to a huge array of niches has resulted in all the plants. There are a few things plants need (light, water, nutrients, and warmth.) How they acquire these resources in scarcity and against competition explains many of the more interesting plant features. The rest seemingl ...more
Alex Quark
GOOD! jumped around a bit, was based on a television special or miniseries. Engaging, not too technical but still cool as someone who's already read a bunch of plant books. GREAT PICTURES.
Another "top shelf" favorite! David Attenborough makes every topic he chooses captivating, intriguing, and altogether enjoyable, even those topics many people might call dull or boring,
I first picked up this book at Borders, while working as a store clerk there. What struck me first was the beautiful photography that is on just about every page. Then I started reading it. It was a truly fascinating book. Attenborough tells a great story in each chapter regarding the different kinds of plants, plant life: how they grow, and thrive in different climates. I am not a gardener, nor have I ever managed to keep a plant alive on my own. So I am definitely a lay reader when it comes to ...more
Laura Gilfillan
I liked the bits of new information I was able to pick up, and the photos were fantastic, but I found myself feeling frustrated most of the time, as I usually do if I watch TV. I suppose it should be no surprise that since this went along with a TV series, it should be written in little "TV bites." A little tidbit of information, and then on to the next subject, leaving me still wanting to know more. Even though David Attenborough's style of writing is very entertaining, I still felt somehow uns ...more
Melissa Nickles
Like Tom Robbins' book "Skinny Legs and All" which gave life to a set of surly flatware traveling the country at imperceptibly slow speeds, this book animates the inanimate in fascinating ways. We so often overlook the photosynthesizers as inanimate and uninteresting objects. This book lifts that veil and grants powers previously owned by fauna alone to the flora around us. Plant drama!
The book is absolutely fantastic and full of high quality photographs. I would undoubtedly give it five stars if it weren't for the Polish edition that I have read, which is more sloppy that I would ever expect. The text contains very basic punctuation mistakes (I would guess that the punctuation form the English original has been preserved) and occasional grammar errors.
The quiet force with which plants rule the world is a lesson in solemn dignity for a shit-slinging ape like myself.

I would also happily live the rest of my days as Sir David Attenborough's idiot child, clinging to his knees and gazing at him with drooly rapture. Tell me again about the strangler fig, papa...
Very simple: if you like DA's TV shows, you will like this. It is nice to have his material in book form because it allows one to linger over a mind-blowing fact before the next one all too quickly replaces it on the TV screen. Relentlessly mesmerizing text and beautiful pictures.
Chris Herdt
This is a wonderful book filled with excellent writing and magnificent photographs. It covers many interesting plants (the remarkable acacia tree comes up several times) and their interactions with their environments in a fun way that avoids scholarly jargon.
Do you want to discover what plants are capable of? Read this book. Attenborough has a knack for presenting dry scientific facts ina very entertaining and fascinating way. There are things about plants wou would have never imagined!!
I found it more facinating than I expected.
A look at the reproduction strategies and mechanisms of survival for a diverse amount of plant species. Written by the amazing David Attenborough, how could this book go wrong? Lots of beautiful pictures as well.
Interesting though i new a lot of the details already. If you're just interested in plants it's really good but if you study biology you might not find it all that revolutionary.
Cleo Logue
Attenborough: my hero. What a guy. Never thought I would find myself so enthralled by the life and reproduction of plants.
Both the TV series and the book are superb! Full of amazing facts like the 3,000 year old pollen that is still viable.
Loved. When I got to the end, I thought about turning right back to the beginning and reading it again.
This was a really interesting book and I learnt a lot of new things about plants.
Adam Weber
Companion to wonderful tv series about plant processes.
Feb 05, 2008 Pauline rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Pauline by: Fred
Shelves: favorites-nonfic
the man can do no wrong. really.
Cheryl Clearwater
interesting. great pictures.
Rorie DuPrey
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Sir David Frederick Attenborough is a naturalist and broadcaster, who is most well-known for writing and presenting the nine "Life" series, produced in conjunction with BBC's Natural History Unit. The series includes Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Trials of Life (1990), Life in the Freezer (about Antarctica; 1993), The Private Life of Plants (1995), The Life of Birds (1998), T ...more
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David Attenborough's Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster Life on Earth The Life of Birds The Life of Mammals The Living Planet

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