|Abstract||This review marks the appearance of Volume II, after the publication of Volume I, Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms, in 1990; several more volumes are expected in the future before completion of the Vascular plants as a whole.|
The present volume contains 73 families out of some 250-500 families which can be recognized within the Angiosperms, depending on the taxonomic concepts applied. The 73 families represent three major blocks of comparatively ‘primitive’ dicotyledons: Magnoliid, Hamamelid, and Centrospermous families. The families are treated in an alphabetical order, with among the larger families Aizoaceae (127 genera, with c. 2500 species), Annonaceae (128 genera, with c. 2300 species), Amaranthaceae, Cactaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Lauraceae, Ranunculaceae, and Urticaceae. Each family treatment consists of a family description, and key(s) to the genera, with descriptions, and concise summaries of the modern state of knowledge of: Characters of rare occurrence, Vegetative morphology, Anatomy, Inflorescences, Flower morphology, Embryology, Pollen morphology, Pollination, Fruit and Seed, Dispersal, Phytochemistry, Subdivision and relations within the family and Affinities (to other families), Distribution and Habitats, Economic importance or other miscellaneous uses, and Paleobotany. Often divisions into subfamilies, tribes, ‘groups’, or (for the genera) into sections are dealt with. Illustrations are schemes, line-drawings of plants (with habits and details), photographs of pollen, and microphotographs of plants growing in situ or in their habitat.