Flower Confidential

Flower Confidential

Paperback

By (author) Amy Stewart

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  • Publisher: ALGONQUIN BOOKS OF CHAPEL HILL
  • Format: Paperback | 305 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 206mm x 25mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 18 March 2008
  • ISBN 10: 1565126033
  • ISBN 13: 9781565126039
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, black & white tables
  • Sales rank: 255,360

Product description

Award-winning author Amy Stewart takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry and how it has sought--for better or worse--to achieve perfection. She tracks down the hybridizers, geneticists, farmers, and florists working to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature can provide. There's a scientist intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horitcultural legend who created the most popular lily; a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorean farmer growing exquisite roses, the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. And, at every turn she discovers the startling intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.

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Review quote

"Stewart is an acute observer and intelligent writer...a compelling read."--"San Francisco Chronicle"

Back cover copy

A globe-trotting, behind-the-scenes look at the dazzling world of flowers and the fascinating industry it's created. It might be unromantic to call a flower a commodity or a manufactured product, but flowers are both. They've become big business--created in laboratories, bred in test tubes, grown in factories, harvested by machines, packed into boxes, sold at auctions, and then flown across oceans and continents to your supermarket or local florist. Amy Stewart tracks down the hybridizers, geneticists, growers, and vendors working to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature can provide. From big agribusiness to local farming, from Europe to Latin America, "Flower Confidential" explores the intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.

Flap copy

Does it matter that a bouquet of roses travels halfway around the world before it arrives at your supermarket or florist? Or that growers force tulips to bloom in December? Are we being tricked when a scientist engineers a lily that doesn't shed pollen? For over a century hybridizers, genetecists, farmers, and florists around the world have worked to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature could provide. Almost any flower, in any color, is for sale at any time of the year. Amy Stewart travels the globe to take us inside this dazzling world. She tracks down scientists intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horticultural legend who created the world's most popular lily (the 'Star Gazer'); a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorean farmer growing exquisite, high-end organic roses that are the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. She sees firsthand how flowers are grown and harvested on farms in Latin America, California, and Holland. (It isn't always pretty). What has been gained--and what has been lost--in tinkering with Mother Nature? Should we care that some roses have lost their scent? Or that most flowers are sprayed with pesticides? In a global marketplace, is there such a thing as a socially responsible flower? At every turn, Stewart discovers the startling intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce. You'll never look at a cut flower the same again.