The present book is first in the series “Know your fruits and vegetables”, and covers cucurbits, the fascinating group of plants contributing fruits used as salads, vegetables and table fruits. The aim of the series is to present the diversity of the group, which should help housewives, cheffs, nature lovers and common people in understanding the common food plants. At the same time care has been taken that the text carries accurate scientific information, up to date scientific names, and the book is equally useful for botanists, horticulturists, breeders and garden lovers. The multiplicity of common names, often in the same language, is the commonest source of confusion, complicated by covenient net search. The attempt has been made to link featured plants with correct scientific name with author citation, so essential for knowing plants accurately. To make featured plants easily understood by the users, the most common English name has been used as title for each plant. In addition to common English names, the names in different languages and regions have also been supplied to make the book universal in utilisation. Besides general botanical information, culinary uses, growth habit and cultural practices are also discussed, as also additional uses, especially the medicinal properties. Although main vegetable and fruit plants are the focus of discussion, but additional related species are also discussed to help distinguish between edible and nonedible plants.

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