Publisher description for The Cruciferae of continental North America : systematics of the mustard family from the Arctic to Panama / Reed C. Rollins.


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Counter This monumental work culminates over fifty years of research and study by the world's leading authority on the important plant family Cruciferae. Worldwide, the mustards, which are morphologically diverse and economically valuable, comprise roughly 350 genera and perhaps 3,500 species. Included in the Cruciferae are vegetables (radish, cabbage, broccoli, turnip, caulifower, Brussels sprouts), ornamental species (stock, sweet alyssum), familiar condiment sources, the bases for both edible and industrial oils, and of course the annual wildflowers and weeds that blanket so many landscapes in spring and summer. Taxonomic criteria and the systematics of every species of the family known to occur in continental North America, including the weeds and cultivated introductions from Europe and Asia. Such coverage, much of it drawn from the author's own research, has not been attempted since 1838. The book describes 8 new species and 16 new varieties and reassigns 32 taxa to different genera or species. In all, the book treats 248 subspecies, varieties, and hybrids, (243 of them native to North America and mostly endemic), 778 species (677 native and mostly endemic), and 99 genera (39 wholly endemic). Identifcation keys, description, and area of occurrence are given for all taxa. The 113 plates illustrate 346 species and varieties (some more than once), and include 341 line drawings, 60 photographs, 20 photomicrographs, and 77 scanning electron micrographs (the micrographs are mostly of pollen grains, seeds, chromosomes, and surface hairs). Introductory chapters offer general information on the Cruciferae, principal features of family members, taxonomic criteria, and methods of treatment. The work concludes with an appendix of new names, a list of literature cited, and an index.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Cruciferae North America Classification, Cruciferae Central America Classification