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Since its first publication in 1991, New Flora of the British Isles has become established as the standard work on the identification of the wild flowering plants, ferns and conifers of the British Isles. The Flora remains unique in many features, including its full coverage of all our wild plants in one volume, its user-friendly organisation, its line drawings and photographs of critical features, and its specially compiled keys and descriptions. All native, naturalised, crop and repeatedly occurring casual plants are included. The fourth edition is stitch-bound with a flexible plastic cover, ensuring durability and utility in the field.
In the nine years since the appearance of the Third Edition, many new data and ideas relating to our wild flora have become available. More than 200 species and hybrids (including 5 newly discovered native species and one neonative) have been added to the text of this fourth edition but, in order to establish it as a truly Twenty-first Century Flora, alien species that have not been recorded in the British Isles since 1999 are omitted from the main text, although those newly omitted in this edition (about 90 taxa) are retained in the keys.
The third edition (2010) was the first British Flora to incorporate the new molecular system of classification based primarily on DNA sequences, a scheme that is expected to endure for centuries to come at the family level. However, new discoveries from this research are continually being made, necessitating numerous further changes at lower, particularly the genus, levels. These have been incorporated but, where the evidence is in any way equivocal, the status quo has been retained pending the arrival of better data. Caution is preferable to changes that have to be reversed later. Apart from this, innumerable adjustments have been made to the descriptions and keys, the distributions (especially of hybrids) have been updated, and the categories used to summarise native/alien status have been altered in line with modern thinking.
These revisions should ensure that this Fourth Edition remains the essential reference source for all taxonomists, ecologists, conservationists, landscape planners, plant hunters and biogeographers, whether they be researchers, teachers, students, professionals or amateurs.
Preface to Fourth Edition vii
Preface to First Edition ix
General Acknowledgements x
Taxonomic Scope xi
Geographical Scope xii
Status and Distribution xiii
Identification Keys xvi
Conservation and Rarity xviii
Synopsis Of Families xxiv
How to Use This Book (Black-edged) xxix
Signs and Abbreviations xxx
The Flora 1
Pteridophytes (Ferns & Fern-allies) 1
Lycophytes (Clubmosses & Quillworts) 5
Eusporangiate Ferns (Adder's-tongues & Moonworts) 10
Calamophytes (Horsetails) 12
Leptosporangiate Ferns (True Ferns) 16
Gymnosperms (Conifers) (Black-edged) 43
Angiosperms (Flowering Plants) (Black-edged) 62
Pre-dicots (Primitive Angiosperms) 85
Eu-dicots (True Dicotyledons) 91
Monocots (Monocotyledons) 872
Glossary (Black-edged) 1123
Clive Anthony Stace BSc, PhD, DSc graduated from the University of London in 1959 and gained his doctorate at the Natural History Museum London in 1963. For the next 41 years he carried out research and teaching in the Universities of Manchester and Leicester, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Plant Taxonomy. His research mainly involved the taxonomy, biosystematics and cytogenetics of western European flowering plants. He has been a keen field botanist for over 60 years, and field-work was an important part of both his research and teaching programmes. He was President of the Botanical Society of the British Isles 1987-89. He has produced about 200 scientific papers and books, including Hybridization and the Flora of the British Isles (1975), Plant Taxonomy and Biosystematics (1980, 1989) and Interactive Flora of the British Isles (2004). He was elected Honorary Fellow of the Linnean Society in 2004.
"[...] As with its predecessors, it is essential reading and, in truth, I suspect that most serious British botanists will already have it following pre-publication offers. If you do not already own a flora and have any pretention to study or identify British plants, then it is a must-have. The magnitude of the changes to names, plus the addition of the latest crop of garden and other escapes, also means that an upgrade from an earlier edition is not only worthwhile but probably a necessity."
– Fred Rumsey, British Wildlife 30(4), April 2019
Reviews of previous editions:
"The New Flora is a remarkable work [...] I for one have nothing but admiration for the accuracy of the text."
– British Wildlife
"Clive Stace's Flora is a tour de force, a mine of information and absolutely indispensable for anyone who has more than a passing interest in British plants."
– Trends in Ecology and Evolution
"Among the very best of Floras."
– Rudolf Schmid, University of California
"Clive Stace has become a household name amongst British field botanists since his first edition [...] I would recommend this new edition to any serious botanist."
– Scottish Wildlife
"[...] an authoritative and user-friendly Flora that will be our standard for taxonomy, nomenclature, and identification for some time to come."
"Stacey will be the flora of choice for all serious botanists in Britain and Ireland for the foreseeable future. It is THE book to use."
– M. F. Fay, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society
"The New Flora of the British Isles is a standard not only among British botanists but also on the shelves of other European botanists, and I can only congratulate this outstanding presentation of the British flora."
– Lars Fröberg, Systematic Biology
"This reference is essential to anyone interested in this flora; no other text is as comprehensive."
– S. L. Timme, Choice Magazine
Praise for the second edition:
"Clive Stace has become a household name amongst British field botanists since his first edition of this guise was published in 1991 and it is pleasing to see that an updated edition is on the bookshelves so soon. The latest edition includes over 200 species and sub-species and has greatly improved text quality [...] The inclusion of additional line drawing [...] for the difficult groups such as brambles is a major advantage for the serious botanist. The further revision of alien and naturalised plants also helps to remove any ambiguities relating to these plants [...] I would recommend this new edition to any serious botanist."
– Dave Garner, Scottish Wildlife
"If you enjoyed using the first edition, it is well worth paying for the upgrade."
– Rodney Burton, The London Naturalist
"I can recommend it to everyone who looks for an outline of the plant diversity in the British Isles, a quick tool for identification of British plants and a model work for a synoptical treatment covering floristic and taxonomic knowledge."
– Zdenek Kaplan, Flora Giobotanica
"To conclude, Stace's Flora is a mine of information, a model of clarity and organization, and one that no serious Irish or British botanist should be without."
– Daniel L. Kelly, The Irish Naturalist Journal