"Since the Industrial Revolution the soil in Britain has changed considerably in its formulation. Where once it almost exclusively consisted of organic matter, it is now likely to hold high levels of metallic elements such as iron, aluminium and copper. Areas where industrial processes took place in the past but
have since been reclaimed by nature are particularly rich in this residual metal content.
Plants growing in these environments have, by means of Darwinian natural selection coupled with sheer determination to survive, managed to incorporate various metals into their very DNA. The resulting species display a variety of features only made possible at the point where biology and metallurgy combine.
The aim of this guide is to assist the amateur metallobotanist in identifying these enigmatic plants, and also to instil enthusiasm into those armchair readers who have never searched the disused foundries of Sheffield for a reclusive Cutleri silvaservicia or listened attentively on the hills of West Yorkshire for the soothing sound of a clump of Alpine Cog Daisies (Coggi interlockia) gently turning in the breeze.
The two sound recordings included here have been developed to aid the growth of these unusual plants. By placing a speaker at either side of the specimen (ideally they should be equidistant and each no closer than two feet away) the sound produced will acoustically recreate a very favourable growing environment. Once brought indoors and planted in any kind of container what these organisms miss most are sound vibrations of a metallic nature.
By regularly subjecting your plants to these carefully composed and scientifically tested sounds (about twice a week is the recommended frequency) you should begin to see them flourish and possibly even bear fruit. Of course not all varieties are suitable to collect. Some are protected by law and others are just too bad tempered, quite frankly"
-Chris Whitehead, from the introduction to the booklet "Flora Metallicum Britannica- a field guide to the metallic plants of the Britsh Isles"
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