St Albans PhD student to launch book on killer plants at cinema screening

University of Hertfordshire student Daisy Butcher with her book Evil Roots: Killer Tales of the Bota

University of Hertfordshire student Daisy Butcher with her book Evil Roots: Killer Tales of the Botanical Gothic. Picture: Submitted by Daisy Butcher - Credit: Archant

A St Albans PhD student has explored the killer plant genre in her newly published book.

University of Hertfordshire student Daisy Butcher will launch the title, Evil Roots: Killer Tales of the Botanical Gothic, at The Odyssey Cinema on September 7.

At the event, there will be a Little Shop of Horrors screening and a talk by Daisy on the killer plant genre.

She traces the history of the killer plant as a gothic genre, from Darwin's essays on carnivorous plants to Netflix's Stranger Things and Annihilation, as well as DC Comics' Swamp Thing.

Daisy will also touch on St Alban's connection to the killer plant genre. She said: "St Albans was home to a very famous orchid collector and distributor called Frederick Sanders, who had a base in George Street, who was known as 'the orchid king'.

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"He made it possible for orchid collecting to be a thing in the UK and orchids became somewhat of a sub-genre of killer plants because they are very bodily and fleshy and quite unusual."

Daisy is in her second year of a PhD in Gothic and Horror. Alongside killer plants, her study focuses on depictions of the feminine in gothic and weird fiction, including particular discussion of female mummies and vampires.

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She said: "I thought killer plants were quite underrepresented and very interesting and deserved their own genre."

The book is an anthology of gothic killer plant stories from the 19th to early 20th centuries.

She decided to publish a book on this genre because of a lack of scholarly sources out there.

She said: "I found it quite hard to find a scholarly source to quote them in an academic work, so I reached out to the British Library and essentially created one that I'd be able to cite in my own PhD."

The book will be on sale at a discount price at the launch. You can also purchase it at

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