A Field Guide to Surreal Botany

A Field Guide to Surreal BotanyAvailable from: BooksActually | Select Books (Singapore) • Housing Works Bookstore Café (NYC) • Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA) • Coppervale Marketplace

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“[This] small book is a bit of lunacy sure to appeal to slightly twisted plant lovers.” —Science

“It’s a delight; irresistible on every level.” —Chasing Ray

“Like taking a visit to a richer parallel Earth where Nature, already prolifigate and extravagant, went on a real bender.” —Asimov’s

“It’s a compulsively readable and ultra-cool book.” —The Agony Column

More Reviews and Blurbs

Finalist for the 2009 World Fantasy Award for Best Artist

Two Cranes Press presents A Field Guide to Surreal Botany, an anthology of fictional plant species that exist beyond the realm of the real, with contributions from Jay Lake, Eric Schaller, Darja Malcolm-Clarke, Ben Peek, Victoria Elisabeth Garcia, Mark Teppo, Vera Nazarian, and many, many others. Fully illustrated in gorgeous full-color by Janet Chui, the specimen entries are by turns witty, hilarious, and very strange.

Edited by Janet Chui & Jason Erik Lundberg


  1. Susan Fedynak | (Floating) Armor of The Dark Blue Heart
  2. Alexandra O’Neal | Attercopp plant
  3. Andrew Nicolle | Avian Trumpetflower
  4. Jay Lake | Baby Cabbage
  5. Elizabeth Langford | Big Yellow Flower of Unnecessarily Obvious Information
  6. Steve Himmer | Bitter Mortar
  7. Eric J. Millar | Bone Garden
  8. John Bowker | Burning Bush Fungus
  9. Ann Leckie | Clickweed
  10. James Trimarco | Cloud Anemone
  11. Jonathan Wonham | Couch Kelp
  12. John Black | Devil’s Pork
  13. Jon Hansen | Dream Melons
  14. Steve Berman | Esemtep
  15. Lucy A. Snyder | Fairy Apple
  16. Francesca Forrest | Firefly Bellflower
  17. Matthew Baugh | Flame Lily
  18. Elaine Clift | Forget-Me-Bastard
  19. Patricia L. Havis | Giant Cloud Lily
  20. Mark Teppo | Haunt Vine
  21. Mary E. Lowd | Kitty Willow
  22. H.F. Gibbard | Kvetching Aspen
  23. Brendan Carson | Lautokan Ear-blossom Plant
  24. Adam Nakama | Leonidas’ Bloom
  25. Merrie Haskell | Library Plum
  26. Kris Dikeman | Nightmare Lotus
  27. Cassandra Phillips-Sears | Ozymandias-plant
  28. Shveta Thakrar | Padmamukhi (the Lotus-Mouthed)
  29. Victoria Elisabeth Garcia | Poliphila, or “Shriner Vine”
  30. Eric Schaller | Queen Victoria’s Bloomers
  31. Yvonne Pronovost | Screaming Mimi
  32. Darja Malcolm-Clarke | Shade’s Globe
  33. David Kelly | Singing Grass
  34. January Mortimer | Stag-eye Nettle
  35. Suzanne Palmer | Swift River Hopping Pitcher Plant
  36. Livia Llewellyn | Teslated Salishan Evergreen
  37. Philip J. Lees | The Faerie Hogweed
  38. Stephanie Campisi and Ben Peek | The Nabokov
  39. Toiya Kristen Finley | The Poseur Nosehairs
  40. Matthew Kressel | The Sembla
  41. Catherine Gunson | Thuringian Shade-tree
  42. Christopher M. Cevasco | Time Cactus
  43. Vera Nazarian | Twilight Luon-Sibir
  44. Tom Pendergrass | Ugly Tree
  45. Erik Amundsen | Waterbaby Cress
  46. Shweta Narayan | Whistle Tree
  47. Alex Chambers | Wild Homilywort
  48. Dave Coulter | Wind Melon

From the Editors

The specimens contained herein—dutifully and, in some cases, painfully recorded by our keen-eyed assortment of contributing cryptobotanists, field researchers, and graduate assistants (laden with glass jars, magnifying glasses, and appropriate body armor)—are organized according to geographical region, and described in erudite detail by our contributors.

Inside the book you’ll find specimens such as the Couch Kelp (Siturfatarscea velvetorleva monthlypaymetis), a floating seaweed with an inflatable bladder resembling a sofa; the Big Yellow Flower of Unnecessarily Obvious Information (Explanatum obviosis), a plant with a flower that is big and yellow; Twilight Luon-Sibir (Russica spectrata), which has an extremely short life cycle and exists in a state of probability; and forty-five other plant species from all over the world and beyond.

Not since Cryptethnophytology of Latin America by Dr. Dean Jameson (Palgrave, 1978), Asian Pomological Fantastika by Sng Chen Whye (Tinhau UP, 1981), or Parallel Botany by Leo Lionni (Knopf, 1977), has such a comprehensive volume of surreal flora been assembled in one place. Produced in conjunction with the Surreal Botanists Association, A Field Guide to Surreal Botany is an unforgettable tour through the fantastical plant kingdom.