Science: Botany of the Bible

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

—Matthew 6:28

These lines, say Botanists Harold Moldenke and his wife Alma, do not refer to lilies, which are rare in the Holy Land. They probably mean the Palestine anemone (Anemone coronaria), which still brightens the field with scarlet and gold.

The Moldenkes' new book, Plants of the Bible (Chronica Botanica Co.; $7.50), tries to identify every plant mentioned in the Bible, even to the humble bacterium (Pasteurella pestis) that smote the Israelites with emerods. The job is...

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