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

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

THE book here presented is partly the outcome of a larger task the author has set himself in his leisure hours, towards which contributions have already been published in the Kew Bulletin during the last few years. The need for a small Handbook of the Families of Flowering Plants has long been felt by teachers, students, gardeners, travellers, and lovers of plants in general. The difference in the concept of plant families shown in the Genera Plantarum of Bentham and Hooker and in the latest edition of Engler and Gilg Syllabus is very considerable, and students are apt to be confused by this divergence of treatment. The families of DICOTYLEDONS are therefore described according to more modern practice, i.e. they are smaller and in better defined groups, which are more easily fitted into the new phylogenetic scheme of classification here presented in complete form for the first time. In compiling these descriptions the fullest use has been made of the Genera Plantarum. A second volume will be devoted to the Monocotyledons, which the author intends to study specially before venturing to propose a new arrangement.

An artificial analytical key to these families, based on easily observed characters, would be useful it is thought to teacher and student alike, and by the use of this key and a pocket lens it should not be impossible for an intelligent person with only a slight knowledge of botany to allocate to their families most of the plants which he may meet with in any part of the world. A key based on the families as defined in Bentham and Hooker Genera Plantarum was published by F. Thonner1 in 1895, but has for a long time been out of print and unobtainable. The key here presented has been made entirely independently of that by Thonner and on somewhat different lines.

It is regrettable that the classical Genera Plantarum of Bentham and Hooker, perhaps the greatest pioneer botanical work of modern times, has never been made available to English readers in a popular form. The general sequence, however, appeared in a translation from the French work of Le Maout and Decaisne, edited by Hooker, and now long out of print. Had those distinguished authors seen fit to issue an English translation illustrated by their gifted botanical artist, Walter Fitch, it is probable that their work would still have held the field. As it is, it has largely been superseded by the great German work by Engler and Prantl, Die natürliche Pflanzenfamilien, published in German and copiously illustrated. Whilst the Genera Plantarum was based on the De Candolle system, which did not claim to be a phylogenetic system, the German work did make this claim. It is interesting to know what Hooker thought of the new system, and we may learn this from his Life and Letters by L. Huxley, vol. ii. p. 22. Writing to Arber he says: "With regard to your queries respecting the primitive type of Angiospermous plants, that subject

____________________
1
F. Thonner, Analytical Key to the Natural Orders of Flowering Plants, London, 1895.

-ix-

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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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