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A Botanical Reader by Jim Folsom, Now Available in iBooks

by Deb Shaw

Cover, "A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener", James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Cover, “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener”, James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

It’s here! Jim Folsom, has just published his ebook as of February 29, 2016: “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener.”  The Reader is a wealth of resources; Jim’s Botany for Artists is just one chapter in a line-up of content that Jim lists in his introduction:

  1. Introductions (Chapters 1, 2, and 3) explain the organization of the Reader, suggest places and activities of interest, and lay out overarching themes that pervade the study and cultivation of plants.

  2. The Literature Review presents some commonly available texts and resources, suggesting which might be most useful for different readers.

  3. In Botanical Terms is a series of short essays dedicated to highlights that showcase topics fundamental to plant science and eliminate barriers presented by useful but arcane botanical terminology.

  4. Conversational Botany is a Primer that tells the story of plants in textbook-style.

  5. Issues – Plants, Politics, & Practice includes background and discussion of topics that are part of today’s public discourse as well as transcriptions of presentations I give on current topics.

  6. An annotated Plant Trivia Timeline gives snippets of plant-related stories and discoveries in chronological sequence, so as to provide historical context to plant use and cultivation.”

  7. Hands-on Discovery suggests particular plants and instructive techniques that will help students make their own observations and learn-through-doing, which is the most effective and delightful method.

Excerpt From: James P, Folsom. “A Botanical Reader.” James P. Folsom, 2016. iBooks.

Chapter from "A Botanical Reader", listing "Botany for Artists" as one of the sections. James P. Folsom, © 2016.

Chapter from “A Botanical Reader”, listing “Botany for Artists” as one of the sections. James P. Folsom, © 2016.

Easy to read, this is a book of RESOURCES. In addition botany, horticulture, gardening, food, and the secret world of plants, Jim introduces his readers to his favorite Plant Destinations (where we can see the “wonders of the plant world”) and compiles a list with descriptions of the books we should have on our shelves and the websites we need to have bookmarked in our browsers.

ASBA and BAGSC members will be treated to a three-part series, starting in the March issue of The Botanical Artist, excerpted from Jim’s chapter, Botany for Artists.

The ebook is downloadable for free from iBooks, at  It’s listed in the category of Life Sciences, and is available on the iPad, iPhone and Mac. Search in iBooks under “A Botanical Reader” or “James P. Folsom” and it will come right up. The print length is 332 pages. 

Jim Folsom lecturing during the "Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium." Photo by Clara Josephs, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Jim Folsom lecturing during the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium.” Photo by Clara Josephs, © 2015, all rights reserved.

About Jim Folsom, Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Jim Folsom, PhD., rides the demographic peak of baby boomers, having been born in southeastern Alabama in 1950. His lifelong love of plants is reflected in a BS in Botany from Auburn University, an MA in Biology from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in research botany from The University of Texas at Austin. Though his research has centered on the orchid family, with much of the research time spent in Tropical America (including a year in Colombia on a Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellowship), Jim’s botanical interests are wide-ranging. As Curator of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington in San Marino, CA, he dedicates much of his effort to educational programs that increase public interest and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens. He lives at The Huntington with his wife, Debra (also a botanist) and children Molly and Jimmy. Jim was recognized as a Friend of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in 1996, a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America in 1998, and presented a Professional Citation by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 1999. The Garden Club of America awarded him their Medal of Honor in 2007.

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