Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary.
We have waited for a long time for this kind of listing of the natively employed plants of Amazonia. Here it is! And it will certainly be a most useful compendium for every botanist, ethnobotanist, and anthropologist who is working or intends to work in this most wonderful part of the world-now under the threat, especially in the great expanse of Brazil, of floristic extinction. This dictionary is unexpectedly complete. It is only natural that the authors have missed some of the locally important species: e.g., the several very important medicinal Philodendra of the northwest Amazon, the fruit tree ucuqui, the several species of Sourougea, the cultivated fruit tree Malouetia witotorum, and the conjunctivitis treatment Cayaponia ophthalmica. For a preliminary and unique effort, its inclusive coverage is so excellent that it can take its place with that most useful volume: Uphof's Dictionary of Economic Plants, ed. 2 (1968). The main part of the book enumerates several thousand species, alphabetically arranged by scientific names, with their families, common and indigenous names whenever possible, and brief remarks on their uses amongst the aborigines. This most valuable presentation is followed by 16 pages dedicated to identification by botanical names of common and Indian names of the genera of the plants discussed, providing in this way a kind of generic index to the contents. Following this index is a medicinal index of diseases and symptoms in 13 pages. The final index lists 46 major references. The book is published in a format which will easily allow it to be taken into the field in tropical excursions. The book is graciously dedicated in memory of the late outstanding tropical botanist, Dr. Alwyn Gentry of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Dr. Gentry died in an airplane accident in Ecuador in 1993 whilst in the botanical studies to which he had dedicated his whole life. Article copyright American Botanical Council. ~~~~~~~~ By Richard Evans">by James A. Duke and Rodolfo Vasquez Martínez. 1994. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Softcover, Plastic covered, 215pp. 237 line drawings. $34.95. ISBN #0-8493-3664-3. Available from ABC Books, item #B071.p#