Can you recommend a good, detailed book on how plants function? A book that explains plant processes on a molecular level from roots up to the fruit.

I am interested in home crops production, such as tomato and peppers, but I expect the principles to be the same for most of the plants. There are lots of "how to garden" books, but this books don't explain things, they just tell what to do.

Background: I have a degree in chemistry so I am confident in my knowledge of chemistry and chemical analysis. But this knowledge is useless unless you mixed it with other science branches, such as biology.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you would need a plant-physiology book and a biochemistry book. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 8:37

2 Answers 2


I wanted to comment because I don't think my answer will be the best, but I can't because of my low reputation... Anyway, here are two suggestions:

  • Plant Physiology and Development, by Lincoln Taiz, Eduardo Zeiger & al.
  • Biochemistry and molecular biology of plants, edited by Bob B. Buchanan, Wilhelm Gruissem and Russell L.Jones

These are the two main books we are using in my university (I'm studying biology) and I think that together they cover a lot of topics. You can probably buy the pdf versions online as well. I hope it helps!

  • $\begingroup$ Buchanan and Jones is probably the most recommended (and very detailed) book in that stream. $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 12:25

As user @Tyto alba said, the stream you are telling about, is called plant physiology; so you would need some plant physiology textbook.

For a general account on all aspects of plant physiology, and where the plant metabolisms are specialized than from animal metabolism; a very good book is

Plant physiology by Lincoln Taiz and Eduardo Zeiger, Sinauer publication.

Taiz-Zeiger, 3rd Edition (cover picture from here).

There are ample changes in different editions, we commonly used the 3rd and 5th edition. There are more current editions too.

Google books link, Ed-5 content (pdf) by Sinauer , Ed-6 in official website of publisher, and currently active companion website for 6th edition.

Ed-6 with changed title

The 6th edition have a changed title, "Plant physiology and development", with addition of more authors Ian M. Møller, and Angus Murphy.


For a basic, student-friendly book, Visit Introduction to plant physiology by Hopkins.
Hopkins Ed-2. The book is very much conceptual, the language is lucid, and there are many helpful illustrations in line drawing.

There are Newer editions of this book, assisted by N. P. Huner.

Google book link to 2nd Ed content, All editions, Publisher website (Willey) official link.


For an encyclopedic account, covering all aspects of plant physiology, Visit Plant physiology by Salisbury and Ross.

Salisbury Ross

Link to Google book 4th Ed,

Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Company. (No mention of this book on website curently)

Link on Amazon and Flipkart.


For more detailed biochemical aspects: (also for the basics of applied metabolic chemistry for crop production)

Plant biochemistry, by Hans Walter Heldt, assisted with Fiona Heldt, Elsevier

Hans walter Heldt Ed-3

The original book is in German, but English-translated edition is popular worldwide.

Also available under heading, "Plant Biochemistry and Molecular biology".

A standard basic textbook, very-much conceptual, as well as student-friendly. Contains lot of detailed diagram and Sketches.

Publisher (Elsevier) Link to 3rd Edition, 4th Edition


Another wonderful book, for basics in details, is

Plant Metabolism, edited by Dennis, Turpin, Lefebvre and Lyzell.

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Publisher: Longman ( Pearson )


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