Monday, February 6, 2012

Plant Families

  I often talk about cucurbits, legumes and crucifers.  These are plant families.  Sometimes rather than mentioning each member of a family, like cucumbers, squash, melons, if something is common to all, I refer to the family, such as cucurbits, or cucurbitaceae.  This commonality happens quite frequently.  If a certain disease attacks cucumbers, then it will often affect the other members of that family, and not members of another family. This also holds true with many cultural characteristics.  Even with pest control, cucurbits as a group are sensitive to sulfur sprays. For further reference, here is a list of some of the more common vegetable crops and the family which they belong to.   

·        Amaryllidaceae – chives, garlic, leeks and onions.
·        Cruciferae – broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, rutabaga and turnip. 
·        Compositae – artichoke, endive and lettuce. 
·        Cucurbitaceae – cucumber, cantaloupe, honeydew, pumpkin, squash and watermelon. 
·        Gramineae – corn. 
·        Leguminosae – beans and peas.  
·        Lilaceae – asparagus. 
·        Solanaceae – eggplant, peppers, potato and tomato.