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Acclaimed Ethnobotany Textbook Republished
Acclaimed Ethnobotany Textbook Republished

Plants, People, and Culture Available from American Botanical Council

The fascinating and informative text Plants, People, and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany, co-authored by Michael J. Balick, PhD, and Paul Alan Cox, PhD, is now back in print and available exclusively through the American Botanical Council. Plants, People, and Culture was originally published in 1996 by Scientific American Books and its distribution discontinued in 2004. Through ABC’s efforts, the book is once again available as an educational tool, with captivating reading for students and professionals of scientific and cultural fields, as well as interested members of the general public.

“This book is the most cogent introduction to the rich and varied traditions found in the study of ethnobotany,” said ABC’s Executive Director and Founder Mark Blumenthal. “The authors are two of the most highly respected scientists working in this field.” In the book, Balick and Cox examine how traditional cultures of the Americas, Caribbean, and Southeast Asia used plants for medicinal and recreational purposes, explore how such practices influenced modern pharmacology, and uncover the threat of destruction upon communities and environments. The two authors based their writings upon personal experiences living among these indigenous peoples.

Dr. Balick, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of ABC, is vice president and chair of botanical science research and training at the New York Botanical Garden, as well as director and philecology curator of the Garden’s Institute of Economic Botany. Dr. Cox, who serves on ABC’s Advisory Board, is executive director of the Institute of Ethnomedicine, which is affiliated with the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hawaii. The authors met while they were doctoral students at Harvard University and were heavily influenced by the thinking and accomplishments of the renowned ethnobotanist, the late Richard Evans Schultes. Additionally, they have published a variety of books and articles on herbal and botanical topics and are acclaimed specialists in the field of ethnobotany.

The 228-page book features the original full-color cover and contains more than 150 enlightening black and white photos, illustrations, diagrams, and chemical structures that complement the text. It retails for $30, plus shipping and handling fees. Class, bookstore, and bulk purchases of the book are available at discounted rates. To order, contact Kathleen Coyne at Customer Service, order single copies online at, or call toll free at 1-800-373-7105, ext. 118.