Pitcher plants trap and eat insects. Photo by Eric Sonstroem, used under Creative Commons licensing.As someone who spent all winter eagerly awaiting spring (loosely defined as any weather not requiring ten layers and a blanket-coat), reading about plants in December was a little sad. We've spared you all that fate by publishing Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence by Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola yesterday. In the excerpt below, the authors look at how humans have thought of plants over the years (spoiler alert: not very highly), setting the stage for the rest of the book to make you think again. So, as Michael Pollan writes in his foreword, "put aside for a couple of hours your accustomed anthropocentrism, and step into this other, richer and more wonderful world. You won't regret it, and you won't emerge from it ever quite the same again."