This volume accompanies text volume 22 published in 2006.
Both volumes are devoted to just one plant family, the grasses (Poaceae or Gramineae), and no group of plants is of greater economic importance. The Poaceae range from the Asian bamboos within the tribe Bambuseae to the widely cultivated rice, wheat, barley, and maize or corn (Oryza, Triticum, Hordeum, and Zea), as well as many grasses used for animal forage, all plants of unparalleled importance to human life.
Nearly half of the species of grasses treated here (ca. 800 out of ca. 1800), including many woody bamboos, are found only in China. A special introductory section describes and illustrates the structure of these plants to facilitate identification and provides a glossary of terminology.