Biology, Reviews

Review: Lee, Nature’s Palette

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The colorful splendor of flora has been a perennial a source of human interest and inspiration, (if you’re in Chicago just take a look out your window), yet while many can appreciate plant color aesthetically, few of us are aware of the science behind it. Now, with David Lee’s forthcoming book, Nature’s Palette: The Science of Plant Color, the fascinating story of how and why plants exhibit the brilliant colors they do is revealed. In a recent piece appearing in the October 25 edition of Nature reviewer Philip Ball writes:

“Why grass is green, or why our blood is red, Are mysteries which none have reach’d into.” John Donne’s words were true in the seventeenth century. Today they certainly aren’t, as David Lee makes clear in Nature’s Palette, an enchanting survey of color in plants.…

Ball’s review continues:

Lee’s book is packed with many… gems from botanical and social history. So captivating is his passion for botany that his occasionally bewildering thickets of carotenes and anthocyanins can be forgiven. His paean provides a compelling case that botany is full of intellectual challenges, many shamefully neglected.

Read the rest of the review currently available online at the Nature website.