Lesser-known plants of potential use in agriculture and forestry.
This review of some underexploited tropical crops, based on the results of a research programme carried out by the National Research Council, USA, highlights some promising food crops such as the oil palm Jessenia polycarpa, the grain amaranths (Amaranthus spp.), quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) and oca (Oxalis tuberosa) which have been largely overlooked by research resources in the temperate zones. Among the legumes discussed the groundnuts (Apios americanum and Voandzeia [Vigna] subterranea), yam beans (Pachyrrhizus spp.), winged beans (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) and adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) are considered to warrant further development. Notes are given on the potential of some more obscure tropical fruits, including those belonging to the Solanaceae and Annonaceae, arid zone crops including tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius) and marama beans (Tylosema esculentrum), valuable resource shrubs and such N-fixing trees as Leucaena leucocephala, Acacia mangium, Mimosa scabrella and Calliandra calothyrsus.