The present volume of Atlas Florae Europaeae (AFE) is the last of the no fewer than five devoted to the Rosaceae, which is, as to the species numbers, among the three largest plant families of Europe. It has taken well over a decade to map the family, which is well known also for its taxonomic complexity principally caused by the high frequency of apomixis.
The relatively long time and great effort of the European botanical community required to finish the mapping of the Rosaceae have already resulted in, for example, the first ever complete sets of maps of the genera Atchemitla and Rubus on the European scale and in a renaissance of interest in the taxonomy of these and other rosaceous genera. Now we are proud to add Sorbus s. lato to the row of plant groups given such an in-depth attention and revision in the mapping. Because of the uncommon complexity of Sorbus s. lato and, additionally, an evident need to treat this group as several genera, a particular effort was indeed required to review its nomenclature and taxonomy.