Hardcover: 544 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math; 3 edition (December 20, 2000)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 11.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #541,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #39 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Wild Plants #252 in Books > Textbooks > Science & Mathematics > Biology & Life Sciences > Botany #759 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Botany
This book is a comprehensive introduction to the botany of economically important plants. Approximately half the book is devoted to food plants, with separate chapters for temperate fruits, tropical fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables. In each of these chapters, a basic botanical description is provided for each major crop as well as snippets of information about this history or culture usage of the crop. The remainder of the book covers non-food uses of plants, with chapters devoted to spices, herbs, and perfumes; vegetable oils and waxes; hydrogels, latexes, and resins; medicinal plants; psychoactive drugs and poisons; stimulating beverages; alcoholic beverages; fibers, dyes, and tannins; wood, cork, and bamboo; ornamental plants; and economically important uses of algae. The text, especially in the later chapters, also explains how the plants are processed to form the finally product and includes numerous diagrams as well as pictures. The book includes suggested readings, a glossary, and an index, but it does not have study questions. The authors note that they saved money by not using any color photos, since they are so readily available on the Internet, but it would have been nice to point readers to specific sites to view such pictures if they so wished.Overall, the text is fairly complete, although there are a few omissions and sloppy errors. For example, I was quite puzzled over lack of coverage of the entire ribes family in the temperate fruits section. Perhaps currants and gooseberries aren't well known in the US today, but they were in the past, and they are certainly important in Europe. In the vegetable section, the authors note that spinach is a good source of folic acid and they suggest that "It may have been the folic acid . . .
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