This article contains the substance of an invited address to the Society of Economic Botany. After some introductory autobiographical matter, attention is drawn to five crops, all originating in low latitudes: bananas, potatoes, sugarcane, rubber, oil palm. In most respects they are exceedingly diverse but all five crops present features of interest, outlined under the general headings: systematics, evolution, genetic resource conservation, new crops and economics. The weakness of generalizations about crop evolution is emphasised. More new crops ought, one feels, to be in prospect but probably are not. Explicitly economic aspects of Economic Botany would, it is argued, justify more study than they have had.
KeywordsRubber Sugarcane Economic Botany Trinidad International Agricultural Research
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