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This text and reference book was written because of the urgings of my colleagues here and abroad and also by my students to fill the need for a comprehensive book describing vegetables important as food crops of the world. in this book was first used as outlines for the course on The material world vegetables taught by the staff of the Department of Vegetable Crops at the University of California at Davis. Over the course of the decade the author taught the course, new topics were added with each succeeding year. In 1978 the handouts were revised and compiled into a syllabus. In addition to the students taking the course, the syllabus was purchased and used by others as a reference book. Word ofits existence travelled far; the syllabus is presently used by one other university in the United States and by another in a foreign country. This edition has been extensively revised; many new materials and references have been added. Included are many photographs taken by the author in his travels abroad. The book has three parts. The first is introductory and background meant for students who are not familiar with vegetables as food crops.

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