“IN the few wild species of tulip that have evolved to be pollinated by beetles rather than relying on the wind or other flying insects, the flowers are scarlet.”

In Around the World in 80 Plants, Jonathan Drori continues his fascination with plants and flowers that dates back to childhood. Enriched and enlivened by Lucille Clerc’s precise and punchy illustrations, the book is a botanical Wunderkammer, full of curious facts about the natural world, historical and social details (liquorice has been used to treat colds, relieve asthma and indigestion and as a laxative) and an undercurrent of despair at how humans are distorting and destroying biodiversity. Eating less meat and poultry would help. So would diversifying the plant species we eat.

The result is both a beautiful celebration of the plants and flowers that surround us and a quiet call to arms for change.

The tulip, by the way, gets its name from the Persian word for turban.

Around the World in 80 Plants, by Jonathan Drori and illustrated by Lucille Clerc, is published by Laurence King, £20. © Lucille Clerc