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PLANTS, PEOPLE, PLANET: an Australian Perspective

This web site is about the historical relationship between plants, people and their life-support system – planet Earth.

More specifically it is an investigation into the biological and cultural coevolution of plants and people – and its implications for the future.

If you are interested in human history, the environment, or creating a more sustainable future – then there will be plenty here for you. But the real feast is for gardeners, plant scientists, historians, philosophers, environmentalists and all students of biology. The author is Australian, so this is the historical perspective from which the articles are written.

The site contains about 300 cross-referenced articles arranged into major themes under the main menu. Run your mouse over the main menu headings and you will soon become familiar with the various topics in the drop-down menus below.

Each article is a synopsis of a particular topic, like a critical essay, containing hyperlinks to related articles and other media discussing the topic.

The articles vary in length but most can be read in one go. With the student in mind they have sections devoted to’ key points’, ‘commentary’, ‘timelines’, and ‘references’: they are authoritative but engaging and user-friendly.

For a more in-depth explanation of the web site and its objectives, see articles under the ‘Welcome’ button.

Our Latest Articles


History in 10,000 words

Most of us are overwhelmed by the sheer scale and detail of history[36] let alone trying to make sense of it all. The single major difficulty is that of interpretation – because history is not only ‘one damn thing after another’ it is also ‘his story’. . . but we have to start somewhere.

Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

We live in hectic and troubled times. What should we do about it … anything?
Well, we think things are bad now but they were likely even worse in the past – its probably always been like this. If we just live each day as it comes without making people around us unhappy then maybe that’s enough. Best not to rock the boat.

Geopolitics of cultivated plants

Cultivated plant geography has follow in the wake of the adventurous, rich and powerful. Geopolitics, the rise and fall of empires and the desire to share resources within their boundaries, while obtaining additional ones from without, accounts in broad terms for the distribution of cultivated plantsa across the planet.

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