Seeds: Time Capsules of Life
A remarkable collaboration of art and science celebrating the diversity of seeds.
An orchid seed may be minuscule, so small and light that one gram contains more than 7.5 million seeds. In contrast, a single-seeded Seychelles seed is a nut weighing up to 20 pounds. All seeds have the same purpose — to travel through time and space until they reach the right place at the right moment to create a new plant.
This large-format book melds art and science in an authoritative examination of the design and function of seeds. Special light and scanning electron microscopy are used to obtain astonishing images of diverse seeds at various states of maturity. Pods, pouches, keys, nuts and other vehicles of dispersal are explained and illustrated.
These time capsules of life for plants familiar and strange are presented in minute, beautiful detail. Microphotographs of the tiniest seeds and extraordinarily detailed cutaway images of larger seeds are combined with text that explains the formation and maturation of seeds and describes how they find their way to becoming a copy of the parent plant. Literary references to plant reproduction are featured as well, along with early botanical illustrations.
Authoritative and richly illustrated, Seeds offers a fascinating and intimate look at the remarkable reproductive process of plants.
About the Author(s)
Rob Kesseler is a visual arts professor and artist. Since 2001, he has been working with microscopic plant material at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens.
Wolfgang Stuppy is a seed morphologist for the Millennium Seed Bank at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens. His work furthers the bank’s efforts to safeguard 24,000 plant species from around the globe.