CRC World Dictionary of Grasses: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology

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Allen V. Barker University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

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CRC World Dictionary of Grasses: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. 3 Volume Set. Umberto Quattrocchi. 2006. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742. 2,383 p. $650.00, hard cover, ISBN 0-8493-1303-1

This publication is in three volumes, which list grasses alphabetically by genus according to currently accepted names with authors. Volume I covers genera A–D; Volume II covers E–O, and Volume III covers P–Z and has a general bibliography. After the generic names, earlier names with authors or other nomenclature may be listed. The volumes include about 800 generic names and thousands of species of grasses. Each entry of genus or species includes previous scientific names with authors, geographical distribution, morphological information, distinctive characteristics, habitat, and common names (in one or more languages) and other variants in nomenclature for species. Each entry for genus also includes subfamily, tribe, and subtribe. A diverse bibliography, based on print and electronic media, notes from where the information was derived for each genus or species. Main and secondary uses for the species are mentioned if known. Some of the entries are extensive and include details that readers must study carefully to identify and to understand the information that is given.

The author has degrees in political science and in medicine. He retired as a medical doctor to pursue studies in botany and in politics. He is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Botanical Society of America, and a Fellow of the Linnean Society. He is the author of CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names, a four-volume publication on vascular plants and a winner of the Hanbury Botanical Garden Award. He is a professor of political science. He is a prolific writer of other books and articles in plant science and politics.

The CRC World Dictionary of Grasses provides and in-depth study of a single family of plants and, hence, give a more comprehensive study of grasses than the previous dictionary. Likely, grasses were chosen for a detailed presentation because of the size of the plant group, their worldwide distribution, and their importance in world economy. In preparing this book, the author dealt with thousands of plant names in many languages. His abilities as a botanist and linguist helped him with this task. Scientific names of plants have been formed over centuries, and many different generic and species names have been used for the same plants. This book helps people to know and understand the background of past and current scientific names.

This book provides easy and good access to data on grasses. It will be a resource to people involved in botany, horticulture, or agronomy and will enrich their understanding of the history, culture, and bibliography of plants. The three volumes are expensive and will occupy considerable shelf space, problems that will deter collecting this book. Libraries will want to acquire copies for centralized reference use. I consult my books on plant taxonomy every day and do not want to go to the library every day or to search the Internet for information about plant species. People who work with extensively grasses should consider personal financing or obtaining grants to purchase copies of this book for everyday use.

Allen V. Barker University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts

Allen V. Barker University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

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