The Floral Gospel

How the Plant Messiah saves species from the brink of extinction

Carlos Magdalena, in the water lily pond at Kew (David Levene/eyevine/Redux)
Carlos Magdalena, in the water lily pond at Kew (David Levene/eyevine/Redux)

When we talk about climate change and conservation, animals tend to steal the show. Yet the organisms whose extinction would affect us the most are actually plants. Horticulturalist Carlos Magdalena has become known as the Plant Messiah for his work using groundbreaking, left-field techniques to save endangered species. First captivated by the bogs and flowers of his native Spain, Carlos has spent much of his professional life in greenhouses and laboratories—and traveling the world, from the Amazon to Australia—to resurrect plants of all shades. And with his new book, he’s on a mission to change the way we see the flora around us by spreading the good word about green things.

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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