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This lavishly illustrated monograph is the most comprehensive botanical treatment of beans to date. It starts with a brief history about the former taxonomical treatments of the genus, and goes on with the taxonomical criteria and a presentation about discriminate characteristics. It presents a full description of each section and species, its distribution and habitat, relationships with other species, uses and potentially useful traits, and historical notes. Color pictures, line drawings and distribution maps lead easily to the right identification of each species. The compilation of over 5,000 bean natural populations through collections and herbarium specimens sets the ground for present and future conservation efforts of these unique plant and food resources.
This monograph will be most welcomed by bean breeders, pathologists, botanists and legume taxonomists, conservationists and natural history enthusiasts. It will be the companion book for naturalists on their field trips in the southern United States and most of Central America. It will serve as a reference for several future works in documentation of neotropical biodiversity.
"I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the importance of this monograph to the legume improvement community in the United States and worldwide. The depth and breath of this monograph is extremely impressive, and we all owe a great deal of gratitude to the tireless and meticulous efforts of the authors"-a Reviewer.