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Floral morphology remains the cornerstone for plant identification and studies of plant evolution. This guide gives a global overview of the floral diversity of the angiosperms through the use of detailed floral diagrams. These schematic diagrams replace long descriptions or complicated drawings as a tool for understanding floral structure and evolution. They show important features of flowers, such as the relative positions of the different organs, their fusion, symmetry, and structural details. The relevance of the diagrams is discussed, and pertinent evolutionary trends are illustrated. The range of plant species represented reflects the most recent classification of flowering plants based mainly on molecular data, which is expected to remain stable in the future. This book is invaluable for researchers and students working on plant structure, development and systematics, as well as being an important resource for plant ecologists, evolutionary botanists and horticulturists.
Dr Louis Ronse De Craene obtained an MSc at the University of Reading and a PhD at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and became attached to the laboratory of Systematics in Leuven as postdoctoral researcher. Since 2002, he has been director of the MSc course on the Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. His research interests include the morphology and evolution of flowers and encompass a broad range of angiosperm families. His particular interests lie in floral ontogeny, an important tool in modern systematic research; he applies data from comparative morphology in a phylogenetic and evolutionary-developmental context, to address hypotheses on the evolution of floral forms and systematic relationships. As such he has built up an extensive expertise in floral structure and development. He is author of more than 80 publications, mostly in peer-reviewed international journals and is also an associate editor for the international journal Plant Systematics and Evolution.