Agaves of Continental North America

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University of Arizona Press, Feb 1, 2004 - Science - 670 pages
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New in paperback Spring 2004, this is an indispensable guide to agaves. The uses of agaves are as many as the arts of man have found it convenient to devise. At least two races of man have invaded Agaveland during the last ten to fifteen thousand years, where, with the help of agaves, they contrived several successive civilizations. The region of greatest use development is Mesoamerica. Here the great genetic diversity in a genus rich in use potential came into the hands of several peoples who developed the main agricultural center of the Americas. Perhaps, as the Aztec legends suggest, it was the animals that first showed man the edibility of agave. Evolution in use ranges all the way from the coincidental and spurious, through tool and food-drink subsistence with mystical overlay, to the practical specialties of modem industry and art. The historic period of agave will be outlined here as briefly as that complicated development will allow.
 

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Contents

Tables
11
Taxonomic History and Morphology
25
Geographic Guide to Species and the Exsiccatae
49
Subgenus Littaea Key to Groups of Subgenus Littaea 61 Sectional List of Species
59
Group Amolae
63
Group Choritepalae
89
Group Filiferae
101
Group Marginatae
124
Group Americanae
270
Group Campaniflorae
309
Group Crenatae
323
Group Deserticolae
354
Group Ditepalae
416
Group Hiemiflorae
465
Group Marmoratae
507
Group Parryanae
520

Group Parviflorae
195
Group Polycephalae
216
Group Striatae
235
Group Urceolatae
251
Subgenus Agave Key to Groups of Subgenus Agave 267 Sectional List of Species
265
Group Rigidae
551
Group Salmianae
594
Group Sisalanae
619
Group Umbelliflorae
635
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About the author (2004)

Widely recognized as the world's leading authority on agaves, Howard Scott Gentry (1903-1993) was an agricultural explorer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was also affiliated with the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. His principal works include R’o Mayo Plants of Sonora-Chihuahua, The Agave Family of Sonora, and The Agaves of Baja California.

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