Carrots and Related Apiaceae Crops, 2nd edn.
The book reviewed below is a non-ISHS-publication. For ISHS publications covering these or other subjects, visit the ISHS Acta Horticulturae website https://www.actahort.org or check out https://www.ishs.org/acta-horticulturae/R03 for a selection of Acta Horticulturae issues related to the ISHS Carrot and Other Apiaceae Working Group.
The latest in the "Crop Production Science in Horticulture" series, this book provides a truly international and comprehensive look at the group of crops in the family known previously as the Umbelliferae.
Forty authors working in 13 countries participated to first cover the taxonomy and botany of the family as a whole, followed by detailed coverage of the carrot, the major crop, which takes up about half of the book. The last 100 pages deal with 13 minor, but commercially important Apiaceae crops. In the crop-specific sections, the biology, usage, crop management, disease and pest management, harvest and postharvest handling are detailed. The most economically important crop, the carrot, is grown world-wide, from temperate areas to tropical, but its production is constrained by several factors. Detrimental effects on root shape prevent the transplanting of the crop, so carrots are only direct-seeded, making them susceptible to competition from weeds during the long early growth period.
Weed management is thus an important cultural practice vital for high yields. Further, because many of the dominant carrot cultivars have roots exceeding 10 cm in length, soils in production areas need to be prepared to be friable to at least that depth. An additional constraint limiting where carrots can be grown is the adverse effect of growing season temperatures exceeding the mid-20's °C. The book clearly details the effect of high temperature and water stress on increasing levels of bitter compounds such as terpenes in the harvested roots. It was encouraging to learn that selecting lower levels of these off-flavors has recently received attention from carrot breeders. Overall, the coverage of all aspects of carrot development, management, and utilization is comprehensive in this book, and should satisfy the intended audience of the book series: students and staff of universities, as well as progressive growers, advisors and end product users.
The astonishing diversity of other crops in the Apiaceae is well described in the last 13 chapters of the book. For instance, the reader may be surprised to learn that Arracacha (Arracacia xanthorrhiza) is a starchy root crop grown in higher elevations of South America, and used as a starchy staple or industrially for starch. So far, this is little known outside the South American continent. Chapters detailing crops grown primarily for the seeds, such as Angelica, carraway, cumin, coriander and dill provide useful details on their major production areas, and how the end products are harvested and handled. Separate chapters on celery, both produced for its leaf stalks, and for the roots, grown primarily in North America and in Europe, respectively, also illustrate local specialization. Overall, the quality of the writing in this book is high, although occasionally a tighter editing of the English usage of some authors would have been helpful. Clear, appropriate photographs and drawings improve the clarity of the subject matter. The book is an excellent addition to our knowledge of the horticultural crops in the Apiaceae family.
Reviewed by H.C. Wien, Emeritus professor of horticulture, Cornell University, USA
Geoffriau, E., and Simon, P.W., eds. (2020). Carrots and Related Apiaceae Crops, 2nd edn (Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Publishing), pp.368. ISBN 9781789240955 (paperback) / 9781789240962 (ePDF) / 9781789240979 (ePub). €60.00 / £49.99 / $70.00.
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