Cucurbits include cucumbers, gourds, muskmelons, pumpkins, squashes and watermelons. As such they represent one of the largest and most important groups of horticultural food plants, and are grown throughout the world. In common with other books in this series, the aim of Cucurbits is to present the scientific principles that relate to the biology and production of these crops, in a way that is accessible to a non-specialist audience. The first chapter describes the distribution, taxonomy, morphology and anatomy of cucurbits, before discussing their growth and development. The next two chapters cover evolution, uses, chemical composition, genetics and breeding. There is then a discussion of the main crops, including their botany, origin, uses, cultivars, breeding and culture. Cucurbits covers production in both greenhouses and in the open field, and in developing as well as industrialised countries. Overall, Cucurbits provides a comprehensive but succinct review, suitable for students of horticulture as well as scientifically-inclined growers.
"Provides all of the information that most readers would ever need in a concise manner [...] I am pleased to have a copy of Cucurbits in my personal library. Others – growers, students, extension faculty, teachers, researchers, fanciers – with an interest in the vine crops will find this book useful and enjoyable to read and to have as a ready reference."
"Understandably, this volume is rich in information about the cultivated species [...] the book will be a valued addition to anyone's cucurbit and commercial horticultural library."
– Quarterly Review of Biology
- What are Cucurbits?
- Evolution and Exploitation
- Major and Minor Crops
- Culture of Cucurbits
- Pollination and Seed Production
- Insect Pests
- Genetics and Plant Breeding
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