Book Details

A revision of the genus Astragalus L. (Leguminosae-Papilionoideae) in India
Lal Babu Chaudhary
ISBN : 9788193384220 (Hard Bound)
Pages : 250
Year : 2018
Weight : 0
Price : Rs. 1795.00

This book presents a comprehensive taxonomic account of the most difficult and largest genus of angiosperm Astragalus of the family Leguminosae in India. Astragalus is chiefly distributed in the cold desert regions of the Himalaya. This is the first revisionary study on the genus in independent India. It is the outcome of extensive field survey and examination of large number of herbarium specimens housed at various herbaria. The present work includes 79 species of Astragalus found in the present political boundary of India. The detail taxonomic account such as nomenclature, description, phenology, habitat, distribution, list of specimens examined etc. have been provided for each species. In addition, taxonomic notes on nomenclature, variation pattern, distribution etc. have also been given wherever found necessary. Large numbers of colour and black and white photographs of the habit of the plants provided in the book further enhanced the quality of the work. All species have been grouped into 28 sections following recent classification. Each section has been briefly characterized and taxonomic keys to the sections and species within the sections have been provided for quick identification. A recently segregated genus from Astragalus, Phyllolobium with four species has also been dealt separately at the end of work for the sake of convenience as people may search these species here due to their long placement in Astragalus. This book would be quite useful for the students of botany, molecular taxonomy, palynology, anatomy etc. to take up the genus for further studies to resolve its complex taxonomy and phylogeny. Some of the species of Astragalus are the source of the commercial gum tragacanth and they are highly medicinal. Astragalus malacophyllus is a well known drug as ‘Rudanti’ or ‘Rudravanti’ used for tuberculosis, skin diseases, coughs and blood purifier in India. Astragalus root is also a well known drug in traditional Chinese medicine since ancient time and large numbers of products have been developed on it. Hence, this book will also serve as reference for those who are involved in drug discovery research.

Dr. Lal Babu Chaudhary, born at Sitamarhi district in Bihar in 1962, obtained his Master degree in Botany from University of Bihar, Muzaffarpur. He began his research career at Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata as a research scholar and obtained his Ph. D. degree from University of Kalyani, Kalyani, W. Bengal. Dr. Chaudhary is actively engaged in his research activities on various aspects of taxonomy and biodiversity and has completed more than a dozen research projects funded by different funding agencies. His main interest in taxonomy lies in revisionary studies of legumes apart from floristic and diversity studies. Other than Astragalus, he has revised many legume genera like Argyrolobium, Indopiptadenia, Lotus, Medicago, Melilotus, Oxytropis, Parochetus, Piptanthus, Thermopsis, Trifolium, Trigonella etc. Apart from legumes, Dr. Chaudhary has also worked on Aconitum (Rananculaceae), Ficus (Moraceae), Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae), Podophyllum (Podophyllaceae) and Tricholepis (Asteraceae). So far he has published two books and about 100 research papers in different journals of national and international repute which include more than two dozen papers alone on Astragalus. His recent work includes a very illustrated book ‘Trees of Uttar Pradesh - Part 1’. He has also supplied materials on legumes to BSI, Kolkata for publication in ‘Flora of India-legume volume’ which is awaiting publication. After completing his Ph.D., he joined CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow as a permanent faculty wherein he presently serves as Senior Principal Scientist. During his 30 years of research experience, he has extensively travelled throughout the country, especially in the Himalaya for plant collection and diversity studies. He is actively engaged in teaching of Ph. D. students in AcSIR at CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow and also guiding many research scholars for their Ph. D. work. He is a member of many scientific societies and editorial boards. He has served as secretary of ‘Association for Plant Taxonomy’ in past. Currently, he is working as Managing Editor of the journal ‘Ethnobotany’ since last four years.

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