This atlas, which is published as a book plus a website, presents the plant parts that have an economic value and are offered for sale at markets and in shops. They include plants that are used as food, spices, stimulants, medicines, poisons, offerings, dyes, tannins, building materials and ground coverings.
The atlas contains 3,767 plant species on more than 10,000 high quality photographs. The Introduction and the Glossary of the book, as well as the website, are in English, German, and Dutch. The book contains indices in eleven languages, and two extra indices on scientific plant name and pharmaceutical plant name. The website will contain an advanced search function. All these characteristics will make the book of more than 2,000 pages in three parts with accompanying website an indispensable tool for all kinds of specialists, and an important reference work for others.
In recent years, many markets and herb shops in the old world have been visited to expand the comparative collection with what is currently on offer in trade. It turns out that the range has been changing in the last 10 years. On the one hand, globalization has resulted in a wider variety of mainly food plants through the migration of people and increased international transport of goods. However, the same globalization has also resulted in a certain degree of impoverishment of the range - medicinal plants in particular are vanishing from the shelves.
The temperate parts of Asia are best represented with 1568 taxa (48%), followed by Europe (1016 taxa, 31%), Africa (959 taxa, 29%), tropical Asia (789 taxa, 24%), North America ( 644 taxa, 20%), South America (529 taxa, 16%), Australasia (318 taxa, 10%) and the Pacific (66 taxa, 2%). It goes without saying that completeness was not the aim - there are simply too many plants with economic value. The selection is based on World Economic Plants. A Standard Reference by J.H. Wiersema & B. Len (1999).
In order to best illustrate the variety in seed and fruit types within families, one or more representatives of many ornamental plants have also been included. How the different plants are used is indicated by pictograms. In addition to seeds and fruits, this atlas also illustrates other plant parts, such as roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fragments of stem, leaves, flowers and buds. Typical examples of objects of daily use made from plant parts are also presented.
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