Archived Outdoors

Book signing, benefit for Botanical Gardens

Book signing, benefit for Botanical Gardens

Western Carolina University’s Highlands Biological Station will be hosting a book signing event to benefit the Highlands Botanical Gardens from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Highlands Community Building. 


The featured book, “Darwin and the Art of Botany: Observations on the Curious World of Plants,” was co-authored by Highlands Biological Station executive director Jim Costa and noted botanical artist Bobbi Angell and published by Timber Press.  

The event will feature talks and a book signing by Costa and Angell, a silent auction offering native plants and a selection of Angell’s botanical copper etchings, all benefiting the Highlands Botanical Gardens and a reception sponsored by the Highlands Biological Foundation, Inc. 

The book grew out of a chance meeting between Costa and Angell. Angell then asked the Oak Spring Garden Foundation if they would be willing to be part of the project before pitching the idea to Timber Press, which is one of the leading horticultural publishers in the nation. 

Costa and Angell collected writings from Darwin’s six botanical books and a selection of other Darwin books and papers to spotlight 45 fascinating plants, each illustrated with beautiful botanical art from the library at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation. Costa, who has written previously on Darwin’s ingenious experiments and how they can be used in science education today, contributed introductions highlighting Darwin’s particular interest in each plant, studies such as the intricacies of pollination adaptations in orchids and other species, how carnivorous plants like flytraps and sundews catch their prey and how vines climb. 

“Darwin and the Art of Botany: Observations on the Curious World of Plants” won’t be officially published until October, but attendees of the Sept. 16 event will have access to the early release copies of the book. To register for the event, go to

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