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Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline

By Richard Evans Schultes and Siri von Reis

Published on the 100th anniversary of the science of ethnobotany, this volume provides a comprehensive summary of the history and current state of the field. The 36 articles present a truly global perspective on the theory and practice of today's ethnobotany.

Media reviews

"An important reference for anyone interested in a whole range of fields related to plants and people from anthropology to sociology; highly recommended for all libraries."

—L. G. Kavaljian, Choice

"Readers interested in the topics will find these essays to be succinct and current overviews of each area ... and it should be reccomended to all libraries covreing ethnobotany."

—John A. Beutler, International Journal of Pharmacology

"There is little doubt that this reference will become a classic for teaching ethnobotany, in field work, and in laboratory research for generations to come."

Quarterly Review of Biology

"Overall, the editors did a splendid job in presenting the breadth and depth of this exciting field."

—Ronald A. Balsamo, Plant Science Bulletin

"I feel that this book is an essential addition to the collection of anyone interested in ethnobotany."

—Cristina Ugarte, Economic Botany

"Ethnobotany gives a very stimulating and useful overview of the first 100 years of this field. The book will hopefully be the basis for further theoretical and methodological developments."

—Michael Heinrich, Anthropos

"This volume will be a fixture in Botanical History, with thirty-six excellent articles that cover a grand variety of topics of these sciences ... An indispensable addition for every botanist and pharmacologist."

Tropical Biology Review

"An important, in-depth academic study of a discipline for those with a serious interest in ethnobotany."

—Marit MacArthur, Library Journal

"A timely volume that presents a broad overview of ethnobotany, showing how this rapidly developing field of inquiry has evolved to its present day high degree of sophisticaiton."

Northeastern Naturalist

"This textual benchmark in the field of ethnobotany will undoubtedly find lasting value as recommended reading for students of ethnobotany and related subjects."


"This collection calls to anyone interested in the cultural origins of medicine, as well as the conservation of the environments from which this knowledge emanates. ... I urge everyone interested in natural medicine to read this book. It is a literary treasure."

Library Letter

"The essays in Ethnobotany taken together paint a comprehensive picture of both the long history and broad scope of field."


"This book is a must for scholars in this field. It is a gold mine for literature references on almost every aspect of ethnobotany. Overall, the editors did a spendid job in presenting the breadth and depth of this exciting field."

—Ronald A. Balsamo, Plant Science Bulletin

"It is a wonderful volume that literally traces the scientific development of the discipline ... I can think of no more significant message at this point in time for our species."

—Steven R. King, Lloydiana

About the authors

Richard Evans Schultes

The late Richard Evans Schultes, Jeffrey Professor of Biology and Director of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University (Emeritus), was a plant explorer, ethnobotanist, and conservationist. He was known as the world's authority on medicinal, narcotic, and hallucinogenic plants in the New World. He was the author of numerous books, as well as the translator of The Journals of HipĆ³lito Ruiz.

Read more about Richard Evans Schultes

Siri von Reis

Siri von Reis is an Associate of the Botanical Museum of Harvard University and honorary Curator of Ethnobotany at The New York Botanical Garden. Dr. von Reis has written numerous scientific articles and several books in ethnobotany and has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

Read more about Siri von Reis

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