Volume 4 contains accounts for 82 families, mostly rather small, but including the Primulaceae (with Primula as its largest genus) and Ericaceae (with Rhododendron, the largest genus in the Flora).
"There is a wealth of information here, both scientific and practical. The authors have achieved what might have seemed impossible: they have taken a step towards the relief of the botanist's frustration in the garden and at the same time they have provided the horticulturalist with a concise compendium of modern botanical knowledge."
" [...] one of the most important horticultural publishing ventures of the century [...] The work aims to describe not only all the woody and herbaceous plants known to grow in gardens throughout the continent but also those we grow in greenhouses. The eventual total will be more than 25,000. While the illustrations are of line drawings, which usually tell you much more than photographs, throughout there are keys by which, when the five volumes are complete, you will be able to identify almost any garden plant you are ever likely to encounter."
- The Daily Telegraph
List of maps and figures
List of contributors to the 1st edition
Preface to the 2nd edition
Preface to the 1st edition
Key to families
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James Cullen has been a professional plant taxonomist for over 50 years, working particularly on the classification and identification of plants in cultivation (especially Rhododendron) at Liverpool and Edinburgh Universities, at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, and in Cambridge. With the late Dr S. M. Walters, he was the initiator of the first edition of The European Garden Flora and is responsible for two spin-offs, The Orchid Book and Manual of North European Garden Plants (2001).
Sabina Knees is a taxonomist at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and although now working on plants of the Middle East, particularly the flora of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra, she spent over 20 years working as a horticultural taxonomist for the Royal Horticultural Society and the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh and is a founder member of the Horticultural Taxonomy Group (HORTAX). She was editor of The New Plantsman for seven years and worked initially as a research associate and then as a member of the editorial committee on the first edition of The European Garden Flora.
Suzanne Cubey has worked at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (RBGE) since 1987, originally as a researcher, and then later becoming the Assistant Secretary on the Editorial Board for the first edition of The European Garden Flora. Since 2005 her main role has been as Assistant Herbarium Curator with particular responsibility for the cultivated plants, where she curates the cultivated specimens in the RBGE herbarium and manages the vouchering of research material from the living collections.