| Author||C.G.G.J. van Steenis|
|Journal||Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants|
|Abstract||According to Hutchinson this is intended as a Companion or Supplement to the first volume of the 2nd ed. of his ‘Families of Flowering Plants’ (1959), which lacked room for notes on phylogeny or genera with outstanding characters. ‘These are now provided with illustrations of many plants of special morphological interest and economic importance, and which sometimes may lead to their identification (sic). Drawings of the type species of the type genus of most of the large families are also included. The illustrations are mostly my own work’. The illustrations, at once simple and carefully made, are a pleasure to the eye and interesting indeed as a large number either depict little known ‘aberrant’ genera or give in some families (Cruciferae, Leguminosae, Umbelliferae, etc.) an array of the perplexing variation in either habit or fruit type. There are no family diagnoses but in most families a short description is given of the type genus. The purpose of this is not clear as this need neither be characteristic of the family diagnostics, nor of value for phylogeny, being merely of value for nomenclatural typification. Also all family synonyms are given in footnotes. Their value seems doubtful in this type of book. The text amalgamating the figures contains some notes on phylogeny, but is largely devoted to particulars about the variation within the families, with notes on geography, on uses of particular plants, history of names of plants, ornamental and drug plants, contains not a few quotations and other anecdotical matter, several derived from the Botanical Magazine.|
Obviously, the text serves for a large part to fill the space between the plates which Hutchinson wanted to have published.
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