424 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 165 line drawings, 23 charts
Understanding the flowering plants of any region begins with the recognition of families. This remarkable volume, created to serve students, professionals, and other plant enthusiasts, covers 130 temperate to tropical families common in North America with detailed illustrations and modern referenced commentaries. Each family discussion includes a diagnosis and summary of characteristics, distribution data, important economic members, and pollination ecology. The book's most striking feature is Zomlefer's 158 original pen-and-ink plates depicting intricate dissections of 312 species.
The content of the family discussions is geared to readers who have completed one introductory biology course. For readers less familiar with botanical terminology, Zomlefer provides an illustrated glossary of 551 terms with more than 300 drawings. Other important tutorial features are twenty-two detailed charts that compare pertinent characteristics of certain related plant groups and a general chart that summarizes the salient features of the families covered in the text. Both amateurs and professionals will particularly enjoy the chapter on examining, dissecting, and sketching live material.
"Superbly executed. . . . An impressive amount of thought, labor, and firsthand experience with plants obviously went into this synthesis. . . . Zomlefer has written a scholarly but eminently readable book that is highlighted by her superb drawings."
--Rudolf Schmid, Taxon
"[The book] is as taxonomically accurate as it is beautiful, and fills a real need in the community of systematic botanists. Anyone who works with plants should own this book!"
--Walter S. Judd, Systematic Botany
"It is rare that a textbook is also an important reference work for the professional botanist, but Zomlefer has made the information presented here so accessible, authoritative and up to date that anyone enthusiastic about plants should have the volume on their shelves."
--Sandra Knapp, Nature
"It is difficult to heap more praise on this widely praised work. . . . [Zomlefer has] created a book for taxonomists and for book lovers, a pleasure to hold and to open at any point."
--Neil A. Harriman, Economic Botany
"Both professionals and amateurs with interests in flowering plants will find a wealth of information in this beautifully illustrated text. It is highly recommended!"
"This comprehensive atlas is up-to-date, well drawn, well planned, and user friendly. It is highly recommended as a supplement to a text on systematic principles or as a general reference in every botanist's library."
--Roger W. Sanders, Sida
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