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 this book 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. The book covers production in both greenhouses and in the open field, and in developing as well as industrialised countries. Overall, the book provides a comprehensive but succinct review, suitable for students of horticulture as well as scientifically-inclined growers.
Education & Reference