Caroline Hurry
Caroline Hurry

From Ayahuasca to the banyan to beans and coralline algae, every story is a marvel, a revelation. The foreword by Dennis McKenna reminds us that plants are the chemists of this world. The truth is we owe our very existence to them.

The co-authorship of the plants comes through in every piece. Each author dialogues rather than dissects their chosen plants, which triggers a deep, abiding love between vegetation and humanity

Joseph Dumit’s ode to coffee made me want to shout for joy. Coffee intensifies human capacities, defies classification, promotes health “and even immortality” – just three of its superpowers, so what’s not to love? I could not imagine my life without my favorite brew.

Jeremy Narby’s experiences with Cannabis sativa as a “plant editor” moved me to a sense of profound gratitude as I realized how the plant had also honed my writing ‒ and sharpened my senses ‒ over the decades. His realization that the “whole plant is like a brain” stirred so much recognition in me.

The layers of plant collaboration permeate from informing the authors to giving up their bodies – pulp for paper comes from trees ‒ as one of the book’s editors, Monica Gagliano, pioneer of plant acoustics – points out.

The Research Associate Professor in evolutionary ecology at Southern Cross University, where she directs the Biological Intelligence (BI) Lab funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Ms. Gagliano, started a revolution in our understanding of plants. Her book Thus Spoke the Plant proves that plants not only detect and respond to the sounds of their environments but emit their ‘own voices.’

Unlike plants that perpetuate a regenerative death, science ‒ as perpetuated by the Colonialists ‒has traditionally killed for the sake of collecting and classifying. “By disregarding the unitary plant mind and collective intelligence, they describe next to nothing,” she says.

By contrast, The Mind of Plants reader must go through a mini death, a shedding of old belief systems, not just to relate to the stories and nuances of spirit within the plant mind but also to find a place of reciprocity and compromise. It’s made me rethink the way I mind – care for ‒ my plants.

Never have I read a more gripping book on plants. It’s mind-blowing stuff.