Digital Atlas of Economic Plants

"This work is definitely a feast for the eye and a must-have not  only for all those in museums, herbaria and botanic gardens who are interested in economic plants, but also especially for curators of collections of economic plant and ethnobotany. Firstly, this is a mine of visual information, secondly, a most helpful guide for determining the identity of economic plants as well as their remains, and thirdly, a source book for finding out for economic plants their common names in all major languages of the world."  Review of the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants by H.W. Lack, Taxon 60 (4), August 2011: 1231–1232.

This atlas, which appeared in January 2010, and - like the other atlasses - is published as a book plus a website, presents the plant parts that have an economic value and are offered for sale at markets and in shops. They include plants that are used as food, spices, stimulants, medicines, poisons, offerings, dyes, tannins, building materials and ground coverings.

 

The atlas contains 3,953  plant species on more than 10,000 high quality photographs. The Introduction and the Glossary of the book, as well as the website, are in English, German, and Dutch. The book contains fifteen indices in eleven languages, and two extra indices  on scientific plant name and pharmaceutical plant name. The website will contain an advanced search function. All these characteristics make the book of more than 2,000 pages in three parts with accompanying website an indispensable tool for all kinds of specialists, and an important reference work for others.

In recent years, many markets and herb shops in the old world have been visited to expand the comparative collection with what is currently on offer in trade. It turns out that the range has been changing in the last 10 years. On the one hand, globalization has resulted in a wider variety of mainly food plants through the migration of people and increased international transport of goods. However, the same globalization has also resulted in a certain degree of impoverishment of the range – medicinal plants in particular are vanishing from the shelves.

The temperate parts of Asia are best represented with 1568 taxa (48%), followed by Europe (1016 taxa, 31%), Africa (959 taxa, 29%), tropical Asia (789 taxa, 24%), North America ( 644 taxa, 20%), South America (529 taxa, 16%), Australasia (318 taxa, 10%) and the Pacific (66 taxa, 2%). The selection is based on World Economic Plants. A Standard Reference by J.H. Wiersema & B. León (1999).

In order to best illustrate the variety in seed and fruit types within families, one or more representatives of many ornamental plants have also been included. How the different plants are used is indicated by pictograms. In addition to seeds and fruits, this atlas also illustrates other plant parts, such as roots, tubers, rhizomes, bulbs, fragments of stem,  leaves, flowers and buds. Typical examples of objects of daily use made from plant parts are also presented.

The book

The book consists of three parts and contains over 2,000 pages. The design is hardcover, the size 21 x 29.7 cm (size A4). It displays over 10,000 high quality full colour photographs of 3,953 plant species in 272 plant familes.

The Introduction and the Glossary are in English, German, and Dutch. There are 15 indices: on scientific plant name, on pharmaceutical plant name, English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Arab, Arab in transliteration, Turkish, Chinese, Pinyin (Chinese in transliteration), Hindi, Sanskrit, and Malayalam.

Website

Purchase of the book grants access to the protected parts of the website.

The protected part of the website contains all images in the book on a large scale.

On the protected part you may also search for plant images using the following keys:
- the indexes (scientific plant name, pharmaceutical plant name, English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Arab in transliteration, Turkish, Pinyin, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Malayalam),
- taxonomy (for example all images of the species of the genera Veronica and Plantago),
- economical value ( for instance all images of poisons, offerings, dyes, or tannins),
- geograhical location (continent or country where the sample has been collected),
- measurements on the basis of the length or width of the seeds or fruits.

It is important to note that the search keys may be combined. Some examples: all medical roots from China, all grains from Africa, all seeds and fruits of ornamental plants from the Americas.

Readership

The Digital Atlas of Economic Plants will be an indispensable tool for people working in a wide range of fields, including taxonomy, ecology, pharmacology, seed testing, ethnobotany, archaeobotany, agriculture and horticulture, gardening, biotechnology, food quality, trade, maintenance of CITES regulations, plant and crop protection, invasive and exotic species, plant conservation and restoration and biodiversity.

The atlas is an important work of reference for all those who need high quality full-colour photographs of plants and plant parts, and information about the economic use and naming of plants.

Order the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants

The atlas costs 325,-, incl. 6% VAT; institutions and companies outside the Netherlands, and private individuals outside the European Community will receive an invoice without VAT if they supply their VAT number.

You may order the atlas here or through the menu at the left.

Extra information

Three sample chapters at a low resolution (PDF, 72 dpi, 7 MB).

Sample pages from the above mentioned chapters at a high resolution (PDF, 300 dpi, 6 MB).

Sample pages from the Indices (PDF).

A list of all plant species depicted in the atlas (PDF).

The brochure of the Digital Plantatlas Project (PDF, 7 MB).

All images of plant parts on this page and in the banner can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Summary

Title: Digital Atlas of Economic Plants
Authors: R.T.J. Cappers, R. Neef & R.M. Bekker
ISBN: 9789077922590
Publication year: 2009
Design: 3 parts, more than 2,000 pages, hardcover, size 21 x 29.7 cm (A4)
Plant families: 272
Plant species (taxa): 3,953
Photographs: more than 10,000
Languages: trilingual Introduction and Glossary (English, German, and Dutch), and 15 indices (scientific plant name, pharmaceutical plant name, English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Arab, Arab in transliteration, Turkish, Chinese, Pinyin (Chinese in transliteration), Hindi, Sanskrit, and Malayalam)
Price: € 325.-, incl. 6% VAT; institutions and companies outside the Netherlands, and private individuals outside the European Community will receive an invoice without VAT if they supply their VAT number
Purchase of the book grants access to the protected parts of the website
Free downloads:
- Three sample chapters at a low resolution (PDF, 72 dpi, 7 MB)
- Sample pages from the above mentioned chapters at a high resolution (PDF, 300 dpi, 6 MB)
- Sample pages from the Indices (PDF)
- A list of all plant species depicted in the atlas (PDF)
- The brochure of the Digital Plantatlas Project (PDF, 7 MB)

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