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History, literature, and botany meet in this charming tour of how humans have relied on plants to nourish, shelter, heal, clothe, and even entertain us. Did you know that during World War II, the U.S. Navy paid children to collect milkweed’s fluffy white floss, which was then used as filling for life preservers? And Native Americans in the deserts of the Southwest traditionally crafted tattoo needles from prickly pear cactus spines. These are just two of the dozens of tidbits that Tammi Hartung highlights in the tales of 45 native North American flowers, herbs, and trees that have rescued and delighted us for centuries.