236 REVIEW Anatomy of the Dicotyledons, Second Edition, Vol. III. Magnoliales, Illiciales, and Laurales. C. R. Metcalfe, x + 224 pp., illus., 1987. Clarendon Press, Oxford, Price: f, 45.00 (cloth). Plant anatomy in this century has had only few historical moments, but the publication of the third volume of edition 2 of 'Anatomy of the Dicotyledons' is one ofthem. Followingthe two introductory volumes published in 1979 and 1983, this is the first volume with individual family treatments, and as such it records our present day anatomical knowledge on 20 families, belonging to the orders Magnoliales, Illiciales, and Laurales. More specifically it highlights progress in descriptive plant anatomy of nearly four decades, because the latest references included in the first edition of 'Metcalfe & Chalk' published in 1950 date from 1948. This third volume is almost entirely from the pen of Dr. C. R. Metcalfe, with contributions by Christina Faggeter (leaf surface of Lauraceae), Richard Howard (no des and petioles), and Jorgo Richter (wood and bark anatomy of Lauraceae). The illustrations are by Hazel P. Wilkinson. In his early eighties now, Dr. Metcalfe has added another most impressive feather to his already well-adorned cap with the publication of this volume. For half a century he has presided over and actively contributed to the immense projects 'Anatomy of the Dicotyledons' and 'Anatomy of the Monocotyledons', and the prominent roles of Radlkofer and Solereder in systematic plant anatomy are outshined by his achievements. A comparison of the firs't and the second editions shows how much our knowledge has increased over the last 40 years. Although the descriptive style has remained concise each individual family needs 2 to 4 times as much printing space in this edition thanks to the availability of many new data published since 1948. This picture of plant anatomical progress is perhaps flattered by the fact that the orders treated here belong to the so-called primitive angiosperms and have received more attention from anatomists and morphologists than most others. The organisation of family treatments has remained essentially similar to that of the first edition. Introductory parts combine information on macromorphology and distribution with a very brief anatomical characterisation. The descriptions are compartmen talised into sections on the ieaf, nodes and petioles (by R.A. Howard), young stern, mature wood, and optional sections on secondary phloem, root, and seedling anatomy. The fact that the latter are IAWA Bulletin n.s., Vol. 8 (3),1987 only included for a few families is a reflection of the continued stepmotherly treatment of these plant parts, organs, or early developmental stages by anatomists. The contribution by Richter on the phloem of Lauraceae is one of the fortunate exceptions. Taxonomic notes conclude each family treatment, while economic notes and phylogenetic considerations are optional discussion chapters. The taxonomic notes are on ce more testimony of the openmindedness of the author: anatomical characters are never overemphasised to the cost of morphological, cytological, or chemical ones. Of course this impartiality can also lead to unhelpful conclusions that the taxonomic position of a certain family is not yet weil established, or even remains a matter of opinion. However, these conclusions probably reflect the painful truth better than any dogmatic statement based on characters from vegetative anatomy alone. Referen ces at the end of each family are separated into lists of literature cited, and lists of 'suggestions for furt her reading' containing references not cited but accompanied by helpful notes on the nature of their contents. The illustrations have undergone revolutionary changes. Virtually all the line-drawings of the first edition have been abolished and replaced by exquisite half-tone photopiates, containing for each family a number of SEM images of leaf surfaccs and light micrographs of mature wood and/or young stern and bark anatomy. These plates are provided with extensive legends, so that in a way they tell their own eloquent story. The fully justified emphasis on the anatomical literature of the last 40 years in the present edition implies that for future users, the first edition, and indeed its predecessor by Solereder of 1899 and 1908, and the translation by Boodle & Fritsch (1908) will remain valuable and essential companions. This can best be illustrated with reference to Myristicaceae, where the present edition provides detailed new information on Asiatic genera, but the first edition had more anatomical information on thegenera from the Neotropics and Africa. Of course the literature before 1948, not all rc-cited again in the second edition, will also retain its value. I am sure the present author will have found it a gratifying thought that his latest contribution is not areplacement but an extension of his own earlier work and that by his predecessors. No plant anatomist or taxonomist should miss this latest exceJlent and typographically weil executed volume. Pieter Baas
IAWA Journal – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1987
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