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Overview

Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix are pioneers in the use of photography in plant illustration. The Botanical Garden I and II, are exciting and thoroughly modern renditions of illustrated botany books. Ten years in the making, this set combines the finest in photography with up-to-date, expert commentary to bridge the gap between gardener-friendly books and scientific texts. In the tradition of the great botanical illustrations, each featured plant has been carefully photographed -- as a whole and in its parts -- against a white background to reveal the plant's physical characteristics in exacting detail.

Plants from more than 1,200 distinct groups are described -- from oaks to violets and water lilies to grasses -- and are presented in evolutionary order, from the most primitive to the most advanced. Each plant listing includes:

  • Name: genus, species and common names, date of discovery, and range.
  • Description: detailed and concise in the scientific style.
  • Key Recognition Features.
  • Ecology and Geography.
  • Comment: cultivation needs plus notes about unusual hybrids or developments in the genus.

As a pair, the two volumes are an all-inclusive source of information and photographs of more than 2,000 genera of temperate plants. Thorough introductory text encompasses numerous themes in botany, from the history of plant development to current DNA studies that are revolutionizing plant classification. Each volume includes a detailed index and bibliography.

The Botanical Garden I and II are exciting additions to a gardening bookshelf. They are visually rich and highly accurate references that will remain interesting,useful and current for many years. Offering a discerning insight into the relationship between garden plants and their natural environments and accuracy that is unequalled outside scientific circles, this duo are truly the modern heirs to a long history of botanical references. There are simply no other works of this kind available today.

About Volume II, Perennials and Annuals

The second in the two volumes of The Botanical Garden, this illustrated reference covers 515 genera of herbaceous temperate plants, including annuals, biennials, perennials, bulbs and aquatic plants. All are described in complete detail, including how plants are related and their origins and uses. Previously imprecise classifications are corrected. Listings are organized in evolutionary order, from the ancient plants -- sphagnum moss and ferns -- to the modern irises, hostas and sedges.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of the New England Garden History Society - Allyson M. Harward
Spectacular... sumptuous color photographs of flowers, leaves, fruits, and seeds... accompanied by Rix's succinct text.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Spectacular hybrid of gardening and science ... Two green thumbs up on these books.
gardenclub.org/book_reviews
Never have more beautiful plant identification books been produced.
New York Times - Anne Raver
Sheds new light, thanks to DNA studies, on the unwieldy and constantly changing world of plant classification ... These books are pure pleasure, so you can absorb as much or as little of the science as you please.
Choice - G.P. DeWolf Jr.
Excellent colored studio illustrations of about 1,000 genera ... These volumes will interest horticulturists and botanists alike. All levels.
American Reference Books Annual, Volume 35 - Lori Kranz
Rix and Phillips intend their book for gardeners, not just botanists, however. This is evident in Phillips's open design and his splendid full-color detail photographs make these books a true feast for the eyes.
Southam News - Steve Whysall
[Recommended for plant identification:] A monumental work containing exquisite plant images.
Kitchener-Waterloo Record - David Hobson
A spectacular hybrid of gardening book and scientific text.
London Free Press - Ken Smith
These two volumes are an all-inclusive source of information for the temperate zone.
Halifax Hearld - Jodi Delong
Unique in the gardening library.
National Gardener - Joanne S. Carpender
Never have more beautiful plant identification books been produced.
Canadian Gardening - Aldona Satterthwaite
Lucid, concise prose, providing links, cross-references, valuable comments and a useful glossary.
Montreal Gazette - Stuart Robertson
These are not trivial coffee-table books.
Floral and Nursery Times
The plants look as if they are living specimens lying on the page ... the photographs are amazing.
Elle Decor
A green thumb's essentials, with exquisite photographs and extensive descriptions.
Chicago Tribune - Beth Botts
A striking visual presentation of the science of plants.
Botanical Research Institute of Texas - Barney Lipscomb
Impressive... fascinating and fun to browse or to search for specific plant information... Enjoy!
American Herb Association Vol. 28 No 3
Gorgeous, close-up photographs of flowering plants set against a white background highlight details. Often flowers are cut to display inner characteristics. I almost expected fragrances to drift off the page from such lifelike photographs.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Spectacular hybrid of gardening and science ... Two green thumbs up on these books.
Steve Whysall
Destined to become standard reference work ... a classy work with a timeless focus.
Southam News
David Hobson
A spectacular hybrid of gardening book and scientific text.
Kitchener-Waterloo Record
Ken Smith
These two volumes are an all-inclusive source of information for the temperate zone.
The London Free Press
Jodi Delong
Unique in the gardening library.
Halifax Hearld
Joanne S. Carpender
Never have more beautiful plant identification books been produced.
The National Gardener
Aldona Satterthwaite
Lucid, concise prose, providing links, cross-references, valuable comments and a useful glossary.
Canadian Gardening
Publishers Weekly
Botanists, students and gardeners will delight in these two stunningly illustrated, encyclopedic tomes by photographer Phillips and botanist Rix, pioneers in their respective fields and collaborators on 23 previous titles (most recently Perennials). The lavish compendia contain scientific facts and lore about temperate plants like the Pseudocydonia (a shrub with delicate red or pink blossoms cultivated in China and Japan), the Cornus (better known here as the dogwood) or the dozens of members of the daisy family (the most evolutionarily advanced of flowering plants). Each entry includes a basic description of the plant plus categories like "Key Recognition Features," "Evolution and Relationships," and "Ecology and Geography." Some of the listings also include advice on cultivation. But that's assuming readers can tear their eyes away from the 4,000-some color photographs, which show remarkable detail and are carefully arranged so that seed, fruit and important identifying parts can be seen up close. They display the specimens at various stages of development, from blossom to fall foliage, to stunning effect. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Photographer Phillips and botanist, plant collector, and gardener Rix have already collaborated on 23 horticultural books. Their latest project covers more than 1000 genera of plants in the world's temperate regions. Each volume is arranged in evolutionary order by family, from the most primitive to the most advanced. Each genus entry includes a detailed botanical description of the genus, key recognition features, evolution and plant relationships, ecology and geography, and facts about the genus ranging from garden uses to medicinal uses. Most compelling are the spectacular, close-up color photographs that exquisitely detail every plant part. Unfortuntately, the lack of detailed cultural information, USDA hardiness zones, and specific species information makes this work less useful for gardeners than other horticultural works. The price tag will keep this set out of some public libraries, which would be better served by Steven M. Still's Manual of Herbaceous Ornamental Plants and Michael A. Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. For a work with extensive color photographs, public libraries should instead consider Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs. This set is recommended for botanic and academic libraries.-Sue O'Brien, Downers Grove P.L., IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Botanist and plant collector Martyn Rix and photographer and book designer Roger Phillips collaborate to provide systematic coverage of non-woody perennial and annual plants. Plants are organized by family, then genus, with a few representative species and cultivars mentioned and photographed, and are listed in evolutionary order, from most "primitive" (Sphagnaceae) to the most recently evolved (Gramineae). Each entry includes the name, date of discovery, and range; concise scientific description; key recognition features; evolution and relationships, based on information gleaned from recent DNA studies; ecology and geography; and scientific, yet informal, comments. Superbly detailed color photographs are enlarged to show important parts of the flower, fruit, and seed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552975923
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/7/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 540
  • Sales rank: 1,007,080
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Phillips was trained as a painter at Chelsea School of Art. He has 30 books to his credit, which have sold well over 31/2 million copies worldwide. Phillips has won numerous awards, including three for book design, and has written and presented the major television series, The Quest for the Rose.

Martyn Rix is a botanist, plant collector and gardener. He studied botany at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Cambridge, where he wrote his doctoral thesis. After working as botanist at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley, he became an independent botanical advisor and writer and has since produced 17 books and numerous scientific papers, as well as 23 illustrated books with Roger Phillips. Rix is on the Picture Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society and has been awarded the Gold Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for his services to horticulture.

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Table of Contents

Volume II: Perennials and Annuals

Due to the number of plants covered, listings given here cannot be comprehensive but instead cover the major groups of plants

Sphagnum moss and Polytrichum
Ferns
Thalictrum, Buttercup, and Hellebore
Poppy and Corydalis
Silene and Carnation
Polygonum and Fallopia
Saxifrage, Astilbe, and Heuchera
Geranium and Pelargonium
Bean, Lupin, and Lathyrus
Stock and Aubrieta
Primrose and Cyclamen
Tobacco and Petunia
Pulmonaria
Mullein and Figwort
Mint, Origanum, and Sage
Campanula
Doronicum, Rudbeckia, Sunflower, and Aster
Nymphaea
Butomus
Lilium, Fritillaria, and Tulip
Orchis
Iris, Gladiolus, and
Crocus
Daylily, Daffodil, and Snowdrop
Hyacinth, Muscari, and Hosta
Sedges and Grasses

Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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Preface

The Botanical Garden Volume II: Perennials and Annuals
Introduction

Our aim in this book is to provide new information and a new way of looking at plants and gardening from a more botanical viewpoint. The plant families are covered systematically, and the relationships between them are discussed; readers will be able to put the knowledge they have acquired piecemeal into a framework, and understand the botanical groups and the similarities and differences between them.

DNA studies in plants

The discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953 opened up a whole new method for studying the relationships between living things; much more recently, the use of computers to compare large amounts of simple data has revealed new evidence for the ancestry of plants. These new studies have not proved to be a Rosetta Stone that will reveal all,
but they have provided some important new information to help solve old problems. Hitherto unsuspected relationships have been suggested, and interesting variations within a single species have also been shown up. The details of the method are complex, but depend on studying the behaviour of three different bodies within the plant cell. The DNA in two of these, the mitochondrion (involved in respiration) and the chloroplast (involved in photosynthesis), is inherited maternally, while the DNA of the third, the nucleus, is derived from both parents. The genes of mitochondria are too unstable to be of use in these studies, but fortunately the genes of chloroplasts are very stable; rearrangements of their DNA sequences are rare enough to be used to indicate major evolutionary groups, but frequent enough to be interesting and worth looking for. Research since the 1980s is now beginning to be used to describe new relationships between genera and families, and new arrangements have been published. These sometimes confirm the classical view based on the morphology of plants, and sometimes bring surprises.

Major groupings

The main division of the flowering plants into monocotyledons and dicotyledons is upheld by DNA studies, with the exception of a few primitive plants that fall outside both categories; this indicates that the monocotyledons arose as a group within the primitive dicotyledons, rather than separately. Some of the important groupings of monocotyledons are described below. Within the main body of the dicotyledons, around six groups are shown to be rather isolated. Two of these are the Saxifragales and the Caryophyllales, while two others, the Ranunculales and the Proteales, respectively include the largely herbaceous Ranunculaceae (see pp.38-59), Berberidaceae (see pp.60-63), and Papaveraceae (see pp.64-71), and a diverse group related to Protea, which includes the familiar genera Platanus and Nelumbo: this superficially crazy association of the waterlily-like Nelumbo, the sacred lotus, with totally different-looking trees and shrubs, must rank as one of the great surprises of DNA research. The rest of the main body of dicotyledons fall into two large clades, the Rosids and Asterids, a clade being a group of families or genera with a common ancestor, an evolutionary lineage. The artificiality of several previously recognised families of plants has been shown up by DNA studies. In particular, traditional Scrophulariaceae has been found to be a diverse assemblage, and although the traditional name has been retained here, the plants have been arranged as they naturally fall (see pp.250-63, pp.268-69, and p.277).

Unanswered questions

The key question of what the first flowering plant looked like is still unanswered,
but we are left with a number of interesting speculations. The modest water plant Ceratophyllum (see p.385), for example, appears to be a very early offshoot from the flowering plant ancestry, but its exact position still remains uncertain; could this be what the first flowering plant was like?

Hellebore Epimedium, poppy, and Corydalis

This group of families, which includes the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae (see pp.38-59), was traditionally considered primitive, as many had very simple flowers, with indefinite numbers of separate stamens and carpels. Recent studies have confirmed this, as well as the close relationship of the Berberidaceae (see pp.60-63), which includes several distinct herbaceous genera. Poppies, the Papaveraceae (see pp.64-71), and Corydalis, both of which often have a milky sap, are related to this group. The beautiful Japanese
Glaucidium, which was of doubtful affinity, has been shown to fall within Ranunculaeae, but the rather similar Paeonia is now thought to be closer to Saxifragaceae (see pp.98-108).

Dianthus, cactus, polygonum, and mesembryanthemum

Pinks and carnations, Dianthus, and Silene are the main garden genera of their family, the Caryophyllaceae (see pp.74-81); several garden weeds from this family, such as chickweed and mouse-ear chickweed, are almost universal. Related to this group are the mainly succulent families Cactaceae (see p.87), which is so characteristic of the American deserts, and the Aizoaceae or Mesembryanthemaceae (see p.86), which takes its place in southern Africa; both of these families have an unusual metabolism that enables them to withstand extreme drought conditions. Other families of this group, the Caryophyllaies, are edible and furnish such vegetables as beet, spinach, and rhubarb, and such diverse ornamentals as Limonium, Mirabilis, Drosera, and Tamarix.

Saxifrage, Sedum, and peony

The group called Saxifragales, as identified by DNA studies, is unusually diverse. The Saxifragaceae (see pp.98-108), many of which are mountain plants, are close to the usually succulent Crassulaceae (see p.109), which includes Sedum, the stonecrop. Paeonia, a remarkably isolated genus, whose affinities have long been in dispute, probably belongs here, although here Paeonlaceae (see pp.58-59) is listed in its traditional position next to Ranunculaceae; it appears to be closest to Daphniphyllum. The woody plants (see Volume I) traditionally placed in Hamamelidaceae, such as
Liquidambar, Cercidiphyllum, and Itea, are now thought to belong here, as does Ribes, the gooseberry and currant.

Geranium and Francoa

The important horticultural family Geraniaceae (see pp. 112-15) includes the hardy Geranium, found all over the world, and the tender Pelargonium, which is mainly South African. Both of these genera have a large number of species with attractive characteristics, such as scented leaves and brightly coloured flowers, as well as large seeds that are dispersed far from the parent plant, by a spring in the case of Geranium (or rarely as a burr), or by wind, with a silky tall, in the case of Pelargonium. DNA indicates that the southern hemisphere plants Melianthus and Francoa are related to Geranium.

Sarracenia, Primula, Phlox, and Impatiens

The family Primulaceae (see pp.198-205), though small in number of genera, is important in temperate gardens, mainly because Primula itself has undergone such an explosion of beautiful species in the Himalayas and the Alps. The family also includes Anagallis and Lysimachia. Closely related to Primula is the mainly American Phlox, Polemonium, and the climbing Cobaea, in the Polemoniaceae (see pp.196-97). These are shown by DNA studies to fall within the Asterids, and within that to belong to the Ericales, a large group that includes Impatiens and the pitcher plants Sarracenia, as well as shrubs such as Styrax,
Camellia, and Rhododendron (see Volume I).

Peas, beans, Lathyrus, and Polygala

Peas, beans, and vetches, in the family Leguminosae (see pp.124-37), are shown to be a distinct group within th

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Our aim in this book is to provide new information and a new way of looking at plants and gardening from a more botanical viewpoint. The plant families are covered systematically, and the relationships between them are discussed; readers will be able to put the knowledge they have acquired piecemeal into a framework, and understand the botanical groups and the similarities and differences between them.

DNA studies in plants

The discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick in 1953 opened up a whole new method for studying the relationships between living things; much more recently, the use of computers to compare large amounts of simple data has revealed new evidence for the ancestry of plants. These new studies have not proved to be a Rosetta Stone that will reveal all, but they have provided some important new information to help solve old problems. Hitherto unsuspected relationships have been suggested, and interesting variations within a single species have also been shown up. The details of the method are complex, but depend on studying the behaviour of three different bodies within the plant cell. The DNA in two of these, the mitochondrion (involved in respiration) and the chloroplast (involved in photosynthesis), is inherited maternally, while the DNA of the third, the nucleus, is derived from both parents. The genes of mitochondria are too unstable to be of use in these studies, but fortunately the genes of chloroplasts are very stable; rearrangements of their DNA sequences are rare enough to be used to indicate major evolutionary groups, but frequent enough to be interesting and worth looking for. Research since the 1980s is now beginning to be used to describe new relationships between genera and families, and new arrangements have been published. These sometimes confirm the classical view based on the morphology of plants, and sometimes bring surprises.

Major groupings

The main division of the flowering plants into monocotyledons and dicotyledons is upheld by DNA studies, with the exception of a few primitive plants that fall outside both categories; this indicates that the monocotyledons arose as a group within the primitive dicotyledons, rather than separately. Some of the important groupings of monocotyledons are described below. Within the main body of the dicotyledons, around six groups are shown to be rather isolated. Two of these are the Saxifragales and the Caryophyllales, while two others, the Ranunculales and the Proteales, respectively include the largely herbaceous Ranunculaceae (see pp.38-59), Berberidaceae (see pp.60-63), and Papaveraceae (see pp.64-71), and a diverse group related to Protea, which includes the familiar genera Platanus and Nelumbo: this superficially crazy association of the waterlily-like Nelumbo, the sacred lotus, with totally different-looking trees and shrubs, must rank as one of the great surprises of DNA research. The rest of the main body of dicotyledons fall into two large clades, the Rosids and Asterids, a clade being a group of families or genera with a common ancestor, an evolutionary lineage. The artificiality of several previously recognised families of plants has been shown up by DNA studies. In particular, traditional Scrophulariaceae has been found to be a diverse assemblage, and although the traditional name has been retained here, the plants have been arranged as they naturally fall (see pp.250-63, pp.268-69, and p.277).

Unanswered questions

The key question of what the first flowering plant looked like is still unanswered, but we are left with a number of interesting speculations. The modest water plant Ceratophyllum (see p.385), for example, appears to be a very early offshoot from the flowering plant ancestry, but its exact position still remains uncertain; could this be what the first flowering plant was like?

Hellebore Epimedium, poppy, and Corydalis

This group of families, which includes the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae (see pp.38-59), was traditionally considered primitive, as many had very simple flowers, with indefinite numbers of separate stamens and carpels. Recent studies have confirmed this, as well as the close relationship of the Berberidaceae (see pp.60-63), which includes several distinct herbaceous genera. Poppies, the Papaveraceae (see pp.64-71), and Corydalis, both of which often have a milky sap, are related to this group. The beautiful Japanese Glaucidium, which was of doubtful affinity, has been shown to fall within Ranunculaeae, but the rather similar Paeonia is now thought to be closer to Saxifragaceae (see pp.98-108).

Dianthus, cactus, polygonum, and mesembryanthemum

Pinks and carnations, Dianthus, and Silene are the main garden genera of their family, the Caryophyllaceae (see pp.74-81); several garden weeds from this family, such as chickweed and mouse-ear chickweed, are almost universal. Related to this group are the mainly succulent families Cactaceae (see p.87), which is so characteristic of the American deserts, and the Aizoaceae or Mesembryanthemaceae (see p.86), which takes its place in southern Africa; both of these families have an unusual metabolism that enables them to withstand extreme drought conditions. Other families of this group, the Caryophyllaies, are edible and furnish such vegetables as beet, spinach, and rhubarb, and such diverse ornamentals as Limonium, Mirabilis, Drosera, and Tamarix.

Saxifrage, Sedum, and peony

The group called Saxifragales, as identified by DNA studies, is unusually diverse. The Saxifragaceae (see pp.98-108), many of which are mountain plants, are close to the usually succulent Crassulaceae (see p.109), which includes Sedum, the stonecrop. Paeonia, a remarkably isolated genus, whose affinities have long been in dispute, probably belongs here, although here Paeonlaceae (see pp.58-59) is listed in its traditional position next to Ranunculaceae; it appears to be closest to Daphniphyllum. The woody plants (see Volume I) traditionally placed in Hamamelidaceae, such as Liquidambar, Cercidiphyllum, and Itea, are now thought to belong here, as does Ribes, the gooseberry and currant.

Geranium and Francoa

The important horticultural family Geraniaceae (see pp. 112-15) includes the hardy Geranium, found all over the world, and the tender Pelargonium, which is mainly South African. Both of these genera have a large number of species with attractive characteristics, such as scented leaves and brightly coloured flowers, as well as large seeds that are dispersed far from the parent plant, by a spring in the case of Geranium (or rarely as a burr), or by wind, with a silky tall, in the case of Pelargonium. DNA indicates that the southern hemisphere plants Melianthus and Francoa are related to Geranium.

Sarracenia, Primula, Phlox, and Impatiens

The family Primulaceae (see pp.198-205), though small in number of genera, is important in temperate gardens, mainly because Primula itself has undergone such an explosion of beautiful species in the Himalayas and the Alps. The family also includes Anagallis and Lysimachia. Closely related to Primula is the mainly American Phlox, Polemonium, and the climbing Cobaea, in the Polemoniaceae (see pp.196-97). These are shown by DNA studies to fall within the Asterids, and within that to belong to the Ericales, a large group that includes Impatiens and the pitcher plants Sarracenia, as well as shrubs such as Styrax, Camellia, and Rhododendron (see Volume I).

Peas, beans, Lathyrus, and Polygala

Peas, beans, and vetches, in the family Leguminosae (see pp.124-37), are shown to be a distinct group within the Rosids. This huge family is mainly tropical and mostly woody, but the temperate Leguminosae are important in gardens, providing sweet peas and many other ornamental species of Lathyrus, as well as peas and beans, which are vital to us for their protein-rich seeds. The capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen is well developed in Leguminosae, and also appears to have arisen independently in a few other families. Milkwort, Polygala, in the Polygalaceae (see p.123), a dwarf herb in the northern hemisphere but often tall and shrubby in the south, is related to Leguminosae.

Foxglove, Mimulus, and Salvia

The Lamiales, grouped around Lamium, the dead nettle, mostly have characteristic 2-lipped, tubular flowers. The largest families are Lablatae (see pp.278-99), mostly aromatic plants including mints and sage, and Scrophularlaceae (see pp.250-263, pp.268-269, and p.277). DNA studies show that most of the genera of traditional Scrophulariaceae, such as Antirrhinum, Digitalis, Mimulus, and Nemesia, are distinct from a second group, containing Verbascum, Scrophularia, Sutera, and some other small South African genera, which are thought to be closer to Gesneriaeae and Lentibulariaceae (see pp.264-65). Partially parasitic members of the former Scrophulariaceae, such as Rhinanthus, are now put in with the fully parasitic Orobanchaceae (seep.276). Even more surprisingly, Veronica is shown to be closest to Campsis and Catalpa (see Volume I). Salvia and the rest of the Labiatae are associated with the shrubs Callicarpa and Clerodendrum (see Volume I), formerly in the Verbenaceae (see pp.266-67).

Daisies and Campanula

The daisy family, Compositae (see pp.336-81) have long been considered the most advanced of the flowering plants in evolutionary terms. The flowerhead, with its numerous small, I-seeded flowers, the outer ones resembling petals, has proved very successful, especially in dry, semi-desert climates. Many species also have a parachute to disperse the seeds on the wind. In Campanulaceae (see pp.324-31),1 which is associated with Compositae in the Asterales, evolution has gone in different directions: the seeds are very small and simple, and the flowers may be large and few, as in Canarina, which has just one flower at the end of each branch, or very small and crowded in a daisy-like head, as in Jasione. In Lobelia, very close to Campanula, the flowers have become 2-lipped for more specialised pollinators, such as hummingbirds in the red-flowered American species.

Nymphaea and the most primitive flowering plants

DNA studies suggest that the most primitive of the flowering plants are a mixed group of herbs and woody plants, which include magnolias, Laurus, and Drimys (see Volume I). Primitive herbaceous plants include Chloranthus, Aristolochia, Asarum, and Peperomia, with Nymphaeaceae (see pp.282-83) and Ceratophyllum the most primitive of all. Many of these plants must have survived unchanged for millions of years, while the rest of the flowering plants continued to evolve. Fossil flowers similar to Nymphaea have been found in early Cretaceous deposits in Portugal; they are around 120 million years old. The reduced flowers of Peperomia and the simple 3-petalled Saruma lead into the monocotyledons, with similarities to Acorus and Sagittaria.

Lilium, Trillium, Alstroemeria, and Colchicum

In traditional classifications Liliaceae (see pp.416-29), the lily family, included, hundreds of genera -- almost any plant with six perianth segments, six stamens, and a superior ovary. More detailed studies, aided by DNA, have enabled smaller groupings to be recognised and the new, more narrowly defined Liliaceae is restricted to Lilium, Tulipa, Calochortus, Tricyrtis, Prosartes, and Scoliopus and their close relatives. Smilax, Trillium, Alstroemeria, and Colchicum are related and come within the Liliales, but most of the other former Liliaceae come within a widely designated Asparagales.

Orchids, Iris, Narcissus, and Allium

The major group Asparagales now encompasses the old families Orchidaceae (see pp.430-33), Iridaceae (see pp.438-55) and Amaryllidaceae (see pp.464-73), as well as Alliaceae (see pp.474-81) and Convallariaceae (see pp.498-503). Relationships within the group show Orchidaceae, with its complex and advanced pollination and fungus-dependent seeds, to be closest to the simple-flowered Astelia and Rhodohypoxis. The closeness of Amaryllidaceae and Alliaceae is confirmed, while Iridaceae is shown to be rather isolated.

Grasses, sedges, and rushes

Grasses, sedges, and rushes were traditionally put together by lovers of wild flowers, and DNA studies have confirmed their closeness, along with the burr reed Sparganium, and Xyris, a rush-like plant with coloured petals. A more surprising member of this group is the Bromeliaceae (see p.512), familiar to Europeans in the pineapple or as "air plants" but very frequent in the warmer parts of both North and South America, where many species are common, forming moss-like grey tufts on trees and even telephone wires. Spanish moss, Usnea tillandsioides, is a conspicuous feature of the scenery in the southern United States and Mexico.

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