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Distributed for Reaktion Books


Ripe, sensuous, irresistible: the cherry tree and its stunning blossoms conjure up many literal, metaphorical, and visceral sensations. We enjoy cherry picking, a cherry on top, and even, on occasion, losing one’s cherry. Cherries have been consumed since prehistoric times, reaching great popularity among the ancient Romans. They have come to symbolize such divergent concepts as fertility, innocence, and seductiveness, inspiring Dutch still-life paintings, Freudian theory, contemporary pop artists, and one of the first food emojis. In Japan and other Asian cultures, the short-lived but beautiful cherry blossoms are important elements throughout art and literature. In this intriguing natural and cultural history, Constance L. Kirker and Mary Newman recount the origins, legends, celebrations, production, and health benefits of this beloved tree.

208 pages | 90 color plates, 10 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2


Biological Sciences: Botany

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 "A charming read from beginning to end. Beautifully illustrated, it reveals the history, culinary and medicinal uses, symbolic meanings, and artistic representation of the cherry tree. . . . The more than 100 color photos and illustrations add a great deal to the book, as does the representation of global cherry recipes. Included in the appendix is a historical timeline of cherry references starting in 5,000 BCE, as well as a list of worldwide cherry-related associations and websites. Kirker and Newman have written a delightful, informative book that explores all the nuances of the beloved cherry tree."

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