Pollen: the hidden sexuality of flowers.

Pollen: the hidden sexuality of flowers. Rob Kesseler, Madeline Harley.

London: Papadakis Publisher, (2006. new edition). Oblong format, dustwrapper, colour photographs.

This book is the result of the shared fascination of an artist and a scientist with the perfect design of organisms too small to be seen without a microscope - pollen grains, which are enclosed beyond the accessible beauty of the flower until the moment of release, when they will be carried by wind, water or animal vectors to achieve their purpose, procreation. Pollen is ubiquitous; in childhood we all learn a little of plant reproduction and the role of the bee but few people are aware of the astonishing diversity of the structure of pollen grains, although these tiny and extraordinary forms have fascinated the scientifically curious since the seventeenth century.

Starting with a clear explanation of the structure and form of pollen, the authors go on to examine the remarkable events from pollination to fertilisation, and the many ways in which pollen impacts unseen on our lives. All of this is interwoven with a dazzling array of original images by the authors. This new edition is updated with additional illustrations and a new section on the honeybee.

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