The Families of Flowering Plants: Arranged According to a New System Based on Their Probable Phylogeny - Vol. 1

By J. Hutchinson; W. E. Trevithick | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

THE production of a new work on the Families of Flowering Plants on phylogenetic lines, by a member of the Herbarium Staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens, is singularly appropriate, since the Genera Plantarum was prepared under the same roof. Mr. Hutchinson, in recognition of this fact, and also of his indebtedness to this classic work, very rightly dedicates his work to the memory of George Bentham and Joseph Dalton Hooker.

With our ever-increasing knowledge of the past and present distribution of plants a great need has been felt for a re-examination, and possibly a re-arrangement, of the families of the Angiosperms, with the object of discovering possible relationships, and also of throwing new light on the problems of plant distribution.

Of the various attempts towards a phylogenetic arrangement the system of Engler and Prantl has deservedly commanded universal attention. Their system has been widely accepted, though in recent years it has been subjected to some criticism. It is generally admitted that many anomalies in the older arrangements were adjusted and that great contributions were made to our knowledge of Taxonomic Botany; but it has been felt that in some directions the deductions advanced in the Pflanzenfamilien were not always in accordance with generally accepted ideas, more particularly in Great Britain and America; thus, for example, in regarding the Amentiferae as primitive, and by giving precedence to the Monocotyledons. The system of Engler and Prantl has been thought by some to have been built up on erroneous and illogical foundations.

Mr. Hutchinson has ventured to express his dissent from Engler and Prantl's views in this book and has returned, wisely as I think, to the position adopted by the authors of the Genera Plantarum, since he regards the Ranales on the one hand and the Magnoliales on the other as the starting-points of his phylogenetic arrangement.

His separation of the various families into two groups depending on their tendency to be herbaceous or arborescent is interesting and suggestive. In the charming and original frontispiece which he has designed and drawn with his facile pen, his views are graphically represented. With Engler and Prantl he is in some accord in his distribution of the apetalous families amongst the petaloid ones to which they appear to be most nearly related, though it will be found, from his careful consideration of the available facts,

-vii-

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The Families of Flowering Plants: Arranged According to a New System Based on Their Probable Phylogeny - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Author's Preface ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Signs and Abbreviations xiv
  • Introduction 1
  • Conspectus of Principal Living Groups Of Flowering Plants 9
  • Subphylum Dicotyledones 10
  • List of Families with Certain More or Less Constant Characters 79
  • Division I. Archichlamydeae 81
  • Division Ii. Metachlamydeae. 265
  • Glossary 311
  • Index 313
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