Flowering Plants and Civilization

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Chapter Outline

Origin of Cultivated Plants

The Legume Family (Fabaceae)

Near-Eastern Region

The Spurge Family

Chinese Region


African Continent

The Cactus Family (Cactaceae)

South Asia and the Islands of the

The Mint Family (Lamiaceae)


The Nightshade Family

North America


South and Central America

The Carrot Family (Apiaceae)

Selected Families of Flowering Plants

The Pumpkin Family



The Buttercup Family

The Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)



The Laurel Family (Lauraceae)

The Grass Family (Poaceae)

The Poppy Family (Papaveraceae)

The Lily Family (Liliaceae)

The Mustard Family (Brassicaceae)

The Orchid Family (Orchidaceae)

The Rose Family (Rosaceae)


Stern-Jansky-Bidlack: I 24. Flowering Plants and I Text I I © The McGraw-Hill

Introductory Plant Biology, Civilization Companies, 2003

Ninth Edition

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This chapter begins with comments on some of the problems involved in distinguishing between fact and fancy in reported past uses of plants. It continues with a brief discussion of Vavilov's centers of origin of cultivated plants and subsequent modifications of Vavilov's theories. A survey of 16 well-known flowering plant families is presented in phylogenetic sequence, and miscellaneous information is given, including brief comments on family characteristics. Some past, present, or possible future uses of family members are explored.

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