CRC World Dictionary of Grasses: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology - 3 Volume Set

Quattrocchi, Umberto

Published by CRC Press, 2006
ISBN 10: 0849313031 / ISBN 13: 9780849313035
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Synopsis: 2008 NOMINEE
The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries
Annual Award for a Significant Work in Botanical or Horticultural Literature

“... now we have easier and better access to grass data than ever before in human history. That is a marked step forward. Congratulazioni Professor Quattrocchi!”
―Daniel F. Austin, writing in Economic Botany

 The remarkable work of a brilliant botanist and linguist, this critically acclaimed unparalleled lexicon offers an indispensable guide for all those involved with plants and gardens, whether they are growing, studying, or writing about them. Detailing approximately 800 generic names and thousands of species of grasses, including cereals and forages, this three volume set lists all relevant properties related to the main and secondary uses of the grasses, as well as detailed descriptions and geographical distribution. Entries include genus, synonyms, and etymology, as well as vernacular names, rejected names, and orthographic variants. It provides a huge amount of obscure sources of nearly impossible to find information.

Destined to become a seminal resource for those directly involved with botany, plant science, horticulture, and agriculture, this masterly referenced work will also enrich the understanding of any individual in the physical or social sciences who is fascinated with history, the birth of ideas, culture, the art of bibliography, and the evolution of linguistics.

Utilizes a Myriad of Resources

Cites Tens of Thousands of References

The material found in the volumes has been painstakingly gathered from a wide variety of typical and atypical sources that includes both electronic and print media, as well as personal investigation. These sources include papers of general interest, reports and records, taxonomic revisions, field studies, herbaria and herbarium collections, notes, monographs, pamphlets, botanical literature and literature tout court, sources available at various natural history libraries, floras and standard flora works, local floras and local histories, nomenclatural histories, and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.  Leaving no stone unturned, the author also culled information from reference collections, botanical gardens, museums, and nurseries, dictionaries, drawings, poetry, journal articles, personal communications, and biographies.

Much More than a Nomenclature Reference

While these volumes serve as the most authoritative and sophisticated nomenclature lexicon ever compiled in this area, it is much more than a dictionary. It offers unique insight across a range of subjects that include the history of botany and botanists, travels and botanical discoveries, the histories of medicine, science, and mankind, the history of genera and species, linguistics, geography, and ethnography. While this information may not be typically found in such references, it’s the author’s belief that all these details belong to any complete history of botany.

Umberto Quattrocchi earned his first degree in political science from the University of Palermo. He followed this achievement with an M.D., specializing in obstetrics and gynecology. In 1992, he retired from the practice of medicine to pursue his studies in botany across the world while teaching as a professor of political science. Highly prolific, Quattrocchi has numerous political and botanical books and articles to his credit, including those on plants and gardening that have been published in Hortus and The Garden. In 1997, he received the prestigious Hanbury Botanical Garden Award promoted by the Premio Grinzane Cavour for his book Piante Rustiche Tropicali.  He received a second Hanbury Award for the bestselling CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. He is a member of the International Dendrology Society, the Royal Horticultural Society, and the Botanical Society of America. He is also an elected Fellow of the world-renowned Linnean Society.

Review:

“... now we have easier and better access to grass data than ever before in human history. That is a marked step forward. Congratulazioni Professor Quattrocchi!”
―Daniel F. Austin, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Tucson, Book Review Editor, Economic Botany, Vol. 60, No. 4, Winter 2006

“The work is set up as a real dictionary, presenting more than 800 grass genera with thousands of species in alphabetical order. This system is very easy to follow. ... will be essential to any library linked to botany, ecology, ethnobotany, general plant science, agriculture or horticulture. It is a great resource for systematic botanists, and has value for whoever else might be interested in grasses. ...”
―Rainer W. Bussmann, Vice-President and Scientific Director, Nature and Culture International, Texas, in Plant Science Bulletin, No. 53(1), Spring 2007

“...a remarkable work and continuation of Quattrocchi’s excellent botanical writing...an unparalleled achievement. ...This 3-volume set is a monumental work indeed, and will be essential to any library linked to botany, ecology, ethnobotany, general plant science, agriculture or horticulture. It is a great resource for systematic botanists, and has value for whoever else might be interested in grasses.”
―Rainer W. Bussmann, Vice-President and Scientific Director, Nature and Culture International in the Plant Science Bulletin 53(1) 2007

“I think very highly of this work, which is better even than Umberto’s World Dictionary of Plant Names book. The breadth of his research is very impressive and gives us a remarkable compendium of facts about grasses. It represents an achievement unparalleled, to my knowledge, by any other botanist, compiler, taxonomist or encyclopaedist.” 
“...Umberto says that his opus is not complete in itself, and indeed this sort of work can be never-ending. But I believe that each entry is as complete as it can possibly be, and it is hard to imagine that this magisterial work could ever be improved upon...

The scheme is alphabetical, and easy to follow. Each genus and species has a detailed morphological description, a note of its geographical distribution, and a list of synonyms and vernacular names in many languages. Habitats, economic uses, historical and biographical allusions, botanical exploration and linguistics are all detailed. Most important are the bibliographies, which accompany each entry. These are comprehensive, up-to-date and multi-lingual. They represent years of painstaking research, and will be of incalculable use to students and researchers in the future.”
―Charles Quest-Ritson

“...any work of this kind cannot be comprehensive, in particular when considering plant diversity on a global scale and the multitude of languages spoken today, all of them possessing names for plants. Therefore, an in-depth study of a single plant family is most welcome... 

For good reasons, Quattrocchi has chosen the grasses, a very large plant group, worldwide in distribution and of prime importance for the world economy, including such major crops as wheat, rice, maize, sugar, and barley, to mention just a few important ones. And he is most suited to do this job: he is well-read, multilingual, possessing a general level of culture equaled by few, and therefore able to go back into etymology and history, often right to the original mention of a particular grass name in the scientific literature long before Linnaeus. Quattrocchi has had to deal with tens of thousands of grass names and a considerable number of languages, several of them used only outside Europe for an obvious reason. This plant group dominates many extensive areas of the globe: the prairies in temperate North America, the forests of bamboo in Southeast Asia, the dry savannahs in subtropical Africa, as well as the spinifex grassland of central Australia or, in Europe, the wetlands in the Danube delta densely covered by reeds. In short, this new dictionary helps us to understand the complex background of grass names and forms an invaluable addition to our knowledge of this plant family.”
― from the foreword by H.-Walter Lack Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum, Berlin-Dahlem, Freie Universität Berlin

"...we have easier and better access to grass data than ever before in human history. That is a marked step forward. Congrtulazioni Professor Quattrocchi!"
―Daniel F. Austin, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona in Economic Botany 60 (2008)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: CRC World Dictionary of Grasses: Common ...
Publisher: CRC Press
Publication Date: 2006
Binding: HRD
Book Condition: New

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