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A completely rewritten edition of the acclaimed standard reference work for the palm family, a group of plants of immense economic and horticultural significance. In the new edition, genus treatments include complete descriptions, nomenclature, etymology and discussions of diversity, distribution, phylogeny, morphology, uses and ecology. All genera of palms are illustrated with analytical plates, maps and numerous photographs, mostly taken in the wild.
The introduction consists of essays on the structure of palms, their pollen, cytology, chemistry, fossil record, evolution, phylogeny, natural history and biogeography, providing essential background information to the classification presented within the book. The classification itself is substantially revised and based on the latest phylogenetic evidence.
Since the first edition, published in 1987, several new genera have been discovered and the wealth of new research into the phylogeny of palms has revealed relationships not appreciated in the past, resulting in substantial reorganization of subfamilies, tribes, subtribes and genera. An illustrated glossary and geographical listings complete this essential reference book to the palm family.