Choice Outstanding Academic Title Florida Book Awards, Bronze Medal for General Nonfiction Plants play a critical role in how we experience our environment. They create calming green spaces, provide oxygen for us to breathe, and nourish our senses. In The Nature of Plants, ecologist and nursery owner Craig Huegel demystifies the complex lives of plants and provides readers with an extensive tour into their workings. Beginning with the importance of light, water, and soil, Huegel describes the process of photosynthesis and how best to position plants to receive optimal sunlight. He explains why plants suffer from overwatering, what essential elements plants need to flourish, and what important soil organisms reside with them. Readers will understand the difference between friendly and hostile bacteria, fungi, and insects. Sections on plant structure and reproduction focus in detail on major plant organs—roots, stems, and leaves—and cover flowering, pollination, fruit development, and seed germination. Huegel even delves into the mysterious world of plant communication, exploring the messages conveyed to animals or other plants through chemical scents and hormones. With color illustrations, photographs, and real-life examples from his own gardening experiences, Huegel equips budding botanists, ecologists, and even the most novice gardeners with knowledge that will help them understand and foster plants of all types.