Wilson is a missionary of sorts for the belief that new plant varieties discovered by plant hunters and breeders can contribute to solving the world's food shortage problems. His major contemporary illustration is the new wheat substitute grain called Triticale -- an impressive development, though Wilson's optimism about the potential of such new crops is certainly overstated. On the other hand, he has collected many fascinating examples of early plant hunters, such as Timothy Hanson who imported foreign grasses to pasture poor New England, Lucy Gates who popularized the tomato in this country, J. I. Lighthall a latter-day Indian medicine man who preserved and extended our knowledge of Native American herb lore, and Dr. Wilson Popenoe who helped make the avocado a popular fruit. A long-winded and unsystematic exposition, but Wilson does bring together some little known and striking aspects of a pursuit he obviously believes in and enjoys. For enthusiasts.