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Originally published by Columbia University Press, 1999, entitled Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants, the current edition is substantially revised and expanded.
Armen Takhtajan is among the greatest authorities in the world on the evolution of plants. This book culminates almost sixty years of the scientist's research of the origin and classification of the flowering plants. It presents a continuation of Dr. Takhtajan's earlier publications including Systema Magnoliophytorum (1987), (in Russian), and Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants (1997), (in English).
In his latest book, the author presents a concise and significantly revised system of plant classification ('Takhtajan system') based on the most recent studies in plant morphology, embryology, phytochemistry, cytology, molecular biology and palynology. Flowering plants are divided into two classes: class Magnoliopsida (or Dicotyledons) includes 8 subclasses, 126 orders, c. 440 families, almost 10,500 genera, and no less than 195,000 species; and, class Liliopsida (or Monocotyledons) includes 4 subclasses, 31 orders, 120 families, more than 3,000 genera, and about 65,000 species.
This book contains a detailed description of plant orders, and descriptive keys to plant families providing characteristic features of the families and their differences.
Subclass I. Magnoliidae
Subclass II. Ranunculidae
Subclass III. Hamamelididae
Subclass IV. Caryophyllidae
Subclass V. Dilleniidae
Subclass VI. Rosidae
Subclass VII. Asteridae
Subclass VIII. Lamiidae
Subclass I. Alismatidae
Subclass II. Liliidae
Subclass III. Arecidae
Subclass IV. Commelinidae
The author is one of the greatest botanists of the 20th century who was awarded "The Henry Allan Gleason Award" by the New York Botanical Garden for the book Diversity and Classification of Flowering Plants (1997). This work, which is a complete classification of the angiosperms to the genus level, is the culmination of over sixty years of research in botany focusing on flowering plants systematics and phytogeography.
"Takhtajan's most important achievement has been the development of his phylogenetic system of the flowering plants, a system that has greatly influenced all other recent systems of classification [...] The classification presented in the current book should be understood as a summary of a life's study of plants and the system that his insights support – the work of a very great botanist that takes into account not only his own meticulous studies but as much of the contemporary information as he was able to assimilate and take into account. [...] The new insights and ideas in the book likewise will inspire new levels of thinking about the relationships between the families of angiosperms and their evolutionary history, including the convergent and parallel evolution of particular features."
– excerpt from the foreword by Peter Raven