North American Cornucopia

North American Cornucopia: Top 100 Indigenous Food Plants

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Features

  • Provides a unique economic analysis of the native plant food resources of North America, far more extensive than otherwise available
  • Based on a thorough and up-to-date analysis of the literature, personal published research, and consultations with leading experts
  • Offers a concise, well-illustrated, user-friendly format that presents the information in easily digested portions
  • Includes a geographical distribution map for every species
  • Features memorable, fascinating, or humorous facts for each crop
  • Serves as an essential guide for industry and government to prioritize resources and funds for various purposes including crop development, product research, and germplasm collection and preservation
  • Contains more than 3,000 literature citations, carefully selected to guide readers to the most valuable and comprehensive information available
  • Provides an ideal supplementary text for courses in agriculture, environmental sciences, and economics
  • Includes more than 600 high-quality color photos and paintings

Summary

Many North American plants have characteristics that are especially promising for creating varieties needed to expand food production, and there are excellent prospects of generating new economically competitive crops from these natives. The inadequacy of current crops to meet the food demands of the world’s huge, growing population makes the potential of indigenous North American food plants even more significant. These plants can also generate crops that are more compatible with the ecology of the world, and many also have inherent health benefits.

Presenting detailed scholarship, a thoroughly accessible style, and numerous entertaining anecdotes, North American Cornucopia: Top 100 Indigenous Food Plants is a full-color book dedicated to the most important 100 native food plants of North America north of Mexico that have achieved commercial success or have substantial market potential. The introductory chapter reviews the historical development of North American indigenous crops and factors bearing on their future economic success. The rest of the book consists of 100 chapters, each dedicated to a particular crop. The book employs a user-friendly chapter format that presents the material in sections offering in-depth coverage of each plant.

The first section of each chapter provides information on the scientific and English names of the plants, followed by a section on the geography and ecology of the wild forms, accompanied by a map showing the North American distribution. A section entitled "Plant Portrait" comprises a basic description of the plant, its history, and its economic and social importance. This is followed by "Culinary Portrait," concerned with food uses and culinary vocabulary. The chapters then provide an analysis of the economic future of each crop, discuss notable and interesting scientific or technological observations and accomplishments, and present extensive references.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Acerola
American Chestnut
American Ginseng
American Persimmon
Anise Hyssop
Aronia
Azolla (Mosquito Ferns)
Bergamot
Bilberry
Black Walnut
Blackberries and Dewberries
Blue Honeysuckle
Blue Waxweed
Blueberries
Buffaloberries
Buffalo Gourd
Butternut
Cabbage Palmetto
Cactus Pear
California Bay
Camas
Canada Garlic
Cattails
Cherries: North American Species
Chinkapin
Chive
Chufa
Cloudberry
Coast Tarweed
Cranberry
(American) Cranberry Bush (Highbush Cranberry)
Crowberry
Devil’s Claw
Duck Potato
Dwarf Cape Gooseberry
Dwarf Glasswort
Elder
Epazote
Evening Primrose
Fiddlehead Fern (Ostrich Fern)
Golden Chia
Golden Currant
Grapes
Groundnut (Apios)
Hawthorns (Including Mayhaws)
Hazelnuts
Hickories
Hog Peanut
Honewort
Hop
Huckleberries
Jerusalem Artichoke
Jojoba
Joshua Tree
Juniper
Labrador Tea
Lingonberry
May-Apple
Maypop
Mesquite
Mexican Oregano
Mountain Mint
Nettle (Stinging Nettle)
Nodding Onion
Northern Gooseberry
Ogechee Lime
Oregon Grape
Paper Birch
Paradise Tree
Pawpaw
Pecan
Piñon Pine
Plums: North American Species
Pokeweed
Prairie Turnip
Raspberries
Red Mulberry
Reed (Common)
Roses
Saguaro
Salal
Salmonberry
Saskatoon
Sassafras
Saw Palmetto
Scotch Lovage
Scurvy Grass
Sea Grape
Spicebush
Squash (Cucurbita pepo Squash)
Strawberries: North American Species
Sugar Maple
Sunflower
Sweet Gale
Tepary Bean
Wild Leek (Ramp)
Wild Rice
Winter Purslane
Yampah
Yerba Buena
Appendix
Index of Common Names
Index of Scientific Names
Index of Culinary Names

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Ernest Small received a doctorate in plant evolution from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1969 and has since been employed with the Research Branch of Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada, where he presently holds the status of Principal Research Scientist. He is the author of 13 previous books, five of which received or were nominated for major awards. He has also authored more than 300 scientific publications on plants. Dr. Small’s career has included dozens of appearances as an expert botanical witness in court cases, acting as an adviser to national governments, presenting numerous invited university and professional association lectures, supervising postgraduate students at various universities, participating in international societies and committees, journal editing, and media interviews.

Editorial Reviews

"… this handsome, scholarly reference describes 100 plants native to North America that have the greatest crop potential. … Written in clear, accessible prose, this book will be useful to both scholars and general readers. Full-color illustrations include maps, drawings, and photos. … Small's unique focus on each plant's potential as a major global crop makes this a singular and valuable work. … Recommended."
—J. S. Whelan, Harvard Medical School in CHOICE Magazine, June 2014

 
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