Pathless Forest: The Quest to Save the World's Largest Flowers

SKU: BODS-102549

The incredible story of one man's obsession to find and protect the world's largest flowers

From a young age, Chris Thorogood yearned to see Rafflesia - a plant boasting the world's largest flowers. He fashioned life-size replicas in an abandoned cemetery, breathing life into these models with paper and paint. Today, Thorogood is a botanist at the University of Oxford's Botanic Garden and has devoted his life to researching the biology of such exceptional plants.

Pathless Forest is the tale of his quest to research and safeguard this exceptional organism - a mysterious enigma, yet to be fully comprehended, that infiltrates vines as a leafless parasite and siphons nourishment from them. We accompany him on a mind-bending voyage, confronting an apparently impenetrable barrier of bizarre, exquisite, and occasionally frightening flora; grappling with leeches, climbing vines, crossing rivers; and tracking indigenous tribes into distant, uncharted rainforests to discover the ghostly and pungent blooms of the Rafflesia, exceeding one meter in diameter.

Pathless Forest is both a mesmerising adventure and a call to action to safeguard the rapidly declining wilderness; two in five of the worlds plant species are threatened with extinction. To view plants a different way, as integral to the prosperity of our own future as well as that of the planet we inhibit. Can the Rafflesia be saved?

Chris Thorogood is a botanist and lecturer at the University of Oxford, where he holds the position of Deputy Director and Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, and a Visiting Professor at the University of the Philippines. 

  • Hardback
  • 288 pages, 240 x 162 mm
  • Publication March 2024
  • Published by Penguin Books Ltd

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