"Following on the successes of two previous dictionary projects, the CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names and the CRC World Dictionary of the Grasses, Umberto Quattrocchi has undertaken this dictionary of economically important plants…. He has done for these plants what was so admirably done in his other works—brought the vast and scattered literature on plant names, and in this case, too, their uses, into coherent order so that the inquisitive scholar can get a foothold."
—From the Foreword, Donald H. Pfister, Harvard University and Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology provides the starting point for better access to data on plants used around the world in medicine, food, and cultural practices. The material found in the five volumes has been painstakingly gathered from papers of general interest, reports and records, taxonomic revisions, field studies, herbaria and herbarium collections, notes, monographs, pamphlets, botanical literature, and literature tout court. It includes sources available at various natural history libraries, floras and standard flora works, local floras and local histories, nomenclatural histories, and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
Much more than a dictionary, the book provides the names of thousands of genera and species of economically important plants, concise summaries of plant properties, and appropriate observations about medicinal uses. Drawing from a tremendous range of primary and secondary sources, it is an indispensable time-saving guide for all those involved with botany, herbal medicine, pharmacognosy, toxicology, medicinal and natural product chemistry, and agriculture.
"With almost 4000 pages of detailed scholarship, any academic, scientist, or layperson interested in medicinal plants owes a moment of appreciation to the tireless genius of Umberto Quattrocchi. The creation of these five impressive volumes is the product of a singular talent, an admirably obsessive and passionate mind. … CRC also must be recognized for supporting such a massive endeavor and trusting Quattrocchi’s process. … And while the large price tag is justified for such a specialized, complete, and useful set of books, the electronic format makes this collection especially valuable. A dictionary so replete with facts and references needs to be completely searchable to meet the full extent of its usefulness. … Admittedly, this type of reference book is not intended to be the last word on every economically useful species, but it is an unparalleled starting place—a tool of first resort for any thoughtful researcher. Quattrocchi and CRC have delivered a dictionary like no other, a learned finger pointing in the right direction."
—John de la Parra, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, from Economic Botany, Vol. 68, 2014
The five volumes contain entries listed in alphabetical order.