Grasses question

Jensen, Douglas P. doug.jensen at
Mon Dec 4 12:45:37 EST 2000

On a similar note, Humanistic Botany, by Tippo and Stern (1977) has a =
of "Twelve Plants Standing Between Man and Starvation."  The most
representation is grasses, but not the majority.
(1) wheat, (2)corn, (3)rice, (4)sugar cane (grasses)
(5) Irish potato (nightshade)
(6) sweet potato (I think Convolvulaceae, but I always get it mixed up =
(7) cassava, manioc, tapioca (same plant--Euphorbiaceae)
(8) sugar beet (spinach family)
(9) soybean (10) common bean (bean family)
(11) coconut (palm)
(12) banana (banana)

>From this, I'd say the missing plants in your list are sugar cane and
sorghum.  Personally, I think the list from Tippo and Stern has more
important plants.  I don't think many people survive on barley, oats, =
rye, but this really is a debatable topic, and all the plants are =
to many people.

Doug	=09

-----Original Message-----
From: jbohmfalk at [mailto:jbohmfalk at]
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2000 11:58 AM
To: plant-ed at
Subject: Grasses question

Two different botany texts state that "Nine of the ten most =
important plants are grasses.", but neither text identifies all nine of
them.  They do identify wheat, rice, corn, barley, millet, oats and =
What are the other two?  Also, which non-grass is in the top ten?  Is =



Dr. John Bohmfalk
Biology Department
Hastings College
Hastings, NE
jbohmfalk at
(402) 461-7470

"Take interest, I implore you, in those sacred dwellings called
laboratories.  Demand that they be multiplied, that they be adorned.  =
are the temples of the future, temples of well-being and of
happiness."=97Louis Pasteur



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