Plants of the World

Plants of the World

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Plants of the World

This is the first book to explore systematically every vascular plant family in the world, including all families of lycopods, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms, organised in a modern phylogenetic order.
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Exclusive Kew price £65.00 (RRP £72.00). Free shipping within the UK.

This is the first book to explore systematically every vascular plant family in the world, including all families of lycopods, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. Organised in a modern phylogenetic order (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group IV for flowering plants and equivalent systems for other groups), over 450 families are described in this illustrated encyclopedia, with full information relating to their characteristics, relationships, etymology, economic uses and distribution. 

Written by three world-renowned authors with wide interests in plant relationships, horticulture and modern genetic approaches to the study of biodiversity, the descriptions are accompanied by a lavish selection of photographs, illustrations and maps. Many of the illustrations are the work of the first author, Maarten Christenhusz, who is an accomplished photographer as well as a botanist.

This authoritative, comprehensive and beautiful book will appeal to a wide audience, from undergraduate students to practising botanists and horticulturists as well as interested amateurs.

  • - First book to explore systematically every vascular plant family in the world

  • - Over 450 families described and illustrated

  • - Full information provided on distribution, phylogeny and evolution, uses and etymology, as well as other points of interest

  • - Organised in a modern phylogenetic order

  • - Authors world renowned experts

  • - Beautifully illustrated throughout with over 2,500 images and 500 maps

  • - Introductory section on the evolution of plants, plants and human culture, naming, and modern phylogenetic classification

  • - Glossary of terms

This is destined to become a classic reference work – and one where beauty and science are combined to illustrate the incredible diversity and importance of plants to life on earth. From the first page onwards, the text and illustrations portray the unique, bizarre, functional and useful aspects of the plant kingdom in intricate detail. It is entirely fitting that Kew should be publishing this exceptional work; Kew’s strategic aim is ‘to be a global resource in plant knowledge’ – this book brings this knowledge into the public domain in glorious technicolour detail. Kathy Willis, Director of Science, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 

A most impressive work of scholarship on many levels...the ultimate herbivore’s guide to plant diversity. Nigel Chaffey, Botany One

The modern treatment of the classification of plants in this weighty tome has amply lived up to my expectations for comprehensive and authoritative content. Dawn Edwards, The Garden

This book is a monumental achievement. David Mabberley, Australasian Systematic Botany Society Newsletter 

Read the review by the Reckless Gardener

Read the i article by author Maarten Christenhusz

American Scientist New Reading for a New Year

Maarten J. M. Christenhusz has an MSc on historic herbarium and a PhD on Marattiaceae. In 2009 he was founding editor of Phytotaxa. He has worked at the Natural History Museum, the Finnish Museum of Natural History and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He grows 160 plant families in his Kingston garden. Michael F. Fay has a PhD on Trifolium and joined Kew in 1986, where he is currently Senior Research Leader in conservation genetics. His research interests include conservation genetics, phylogenetics and genome size. He is Chief Editor, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, and Chair, IUCN Orchid Specialist Group. Mark W. Chase has a PhD on Leochilus (Orchidaceae). After teaching at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, he moved to Kew in 1992, as Head of Molecular Systematics. His research has been on angiosperm phylogeny and polyploidy, focusing on orchids and, more recently, Nicotiana. He is one of the main coordinators of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.

Additional Info

Additional Info

  1. Authors: Maarten J. M. Christenhusz, Michael F. Fay, Mark W. Chase
  2. 800pp. over 2,500 colour photographs and illustrations, 500 maps. 280 x 238 mm. Hardback
  3. ISBN 978 1 84246 634 6
  4. Kew Publishing, 2017


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