Few people in the world and nobody from the west had seen the extremely rare Rafflesia banaoana with its huge flower until Chris Thorogood fought his way through Philippine jungle last month. Author of many botany books and plant guides, he is an authority on the Mediterranean with his Field Guide to Flowers of the Western Mediterranean, Field Guide to Flowers of the Eastern Mediterranean and Wild Flowers of the Algarve. He is also an excellent botanical artist. His latest book, When Plants Took Over the Planet, is aimed at 7- to 11-year-olds. Chris, head of science and deputy director of the Oxford Botanic Garden, welcomed MPG members enthusiastically at the start of last summer’s visit to Oxford.