Dr. Shirley Graham of Kent State University will study the genus Cuphea (ca. 260 species) of the loosestrife family, a common, widely distributed herb of tropical Latin America. In the past ten years it has been learned that the seeds of many species contain commercially exploitable quantities of oils of unique and varied composition that are attractive alternatives to coconut and palm kernel oils for use in industrial, nutritional, and personal.care products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated Cuphea as one of a select number of new crops on which to intensify research and development. Despite its predicted economic importance, however, the genus is known taxonomically from only a single study made on very limited collections in 1880.1883. Dr. Graham will continue her basic taxonomic appraisal of the genus, to provide identification keys to wild species, descriptions of morphology and of geographic ranges, and illustrations for accurate species.recognition, discussion of species relationships and evolutionary mechanisms likely to operate in the genus, and chromosome numbers that serve as initial guides for the plant breeding programs needed to domesticate wild Cuphea for use as a crop plant. Her taxonomic research will also contribute to basic inventory of tropical plant resources.