The Flora Europaea, originally published between 1964 and 1980, explores the synthesis of all the national and regional Floras of Europe. It is based on a critical review of existing literature and on studies on herbaria and in the field. It aims to be simple as well as authoritative, and should enable the reader to name as far as its subspecies any fern, conifer or flowering plant growing wild or wildly cultivated. The second of the five volumes covers the Dicotyledonous families from Rosaceae to Umbelliferae, following the Engler system. Apart from keys and descriptions, information is given on geographical distribution and, where possible, on habitat preference and chromosome number. All names used in Floras or important monographs are cited in the text or index. The text, in English, uses a limited vocabulary, and there are glossaries of technical terms and Latin equivalents.
'Flora Europaea, by applying a beneficial taxonomic uniformity within its area, will inevitably broaden the horizons of all those who use it. It should lead to a new phase in European botany, and will certainly provide a firm basis for further taxonomic research for many years to come. One cannot but admire the consistency of production in a work to which more than fifty botanists from all over Europe have contributed. The layout, scope and terminology show a uniformity throughout for which the editors must be congratulated.' Nature 'One essential advantage of this work is that it elucidates the taxonomic and geographical connections and graduations of taxa that appear too much isolated in local floras. May it be used by many people, and may its good progress continue.' Watsonia