Press Releases

Book Launch - Flowering Plant Families of the World – University of Reading

Release Date : 19 February 2007

A fascinating new book which showcases more than 500 families including all of the world's most colourful flora will be launched at the University of Reading this week.

'Flowering Plant Families of the World' is an authoritative and captivating introduction to some of Earth's spectacular plantlife and will be launched in the Plant Science Laboratory Lecture Theatre on Wednesday (February 21).

Co-Authors Dr Alastair Culham and Emeritus Professor Vernon Heywood, from the University's School of Biological Sciences, are part of a team of four acknowledged experts involved in this updated and revised successor to the classic book, 'Flowering Plants of the World'.

The book gives a comprehensive account of more than 500 flowering plant families. More than 1,000 visually stunning and precisely scaled illustrations display the major characteristics of key plants and detailed maps show worldwide distribution.

Guests will be given a warm welcome by Dr Michael Dennett, Deputy Head of the University's School of Biological Sciences, and hear informative talks from Professor Heywood, Professor Seberg and Professor Stephen Hopper (Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew). Dr Culham will then give some closing remarks, after which attendees have the opportunity to talk to the authors over a glass of wine.

The launch is taking place at the University of Reading's Plant Science Laboratory Lecture Theatre, on the Whiteknights Campus, on Wednesday 21st February from 4.00pm till 5.00pm.

To reserve a place at the event please email June Randall -


For media enquiries only, please contact James Barr,Press Assistant, on:

(Tel) 0118 378 7115


Author information

Vernon H. Heywood, Ph.D., D.Sc., Hon.F.L.S., is Emeritus Professor of Botany at the University of Reading, UK, and previously Professor of Botany, University of Liverpool, UK. He was also Chief Scientist, Plant Conservation, of IUCN (The World Conservation Union) and Director of Botanic Gardens Conservation International. He holds Honorary Professorships at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing, China, and at the Universidad "Juan Agustín Maza," Mendoza, Argentina, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions. He is a world authority on biodiversity and plant systematics, and his publications include more than 60 books and 500 papers on plant taxonomy and systematics, medicinal plants, scanning electron microscopy, ecology, conservation, botanic gardens and plant genetic resources.

Alastair Culham, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Plant Taxonomy at the University of Reading, UK. He is a specialist in the systematics of the Droseraceae and on the evolutionary impacts of climate change. His research now encompasses many aspects of plant phylogeny, especially the use of DNA sequence data in systematics and the integration of morphology, distribution, and climate data into phylogenetic studies. He teaches plant taxonomy, including nomenclature, morphology and phylogenetics to both undergraduate and postgraduate students and has published more than 60 papers on systematics, conservation biology and horticultural taxonomy.

R. K. Brummitt, Ph.D., is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, where he was employed in the Herbarium from 1963 to 1999. He has worked on several African and north temperate Flora projects and has collected plants on every continent. Since 1975 he has been secretary of the Committee for the Nomenclature of Vascular Plants, and he is also secretary of a global floristic project, the Species Plantarum Programme. He has published the reference works Vascular Plant Families and Genera and (with C. E. Powell) and Authors of Plant Names.

Ole Seberg, Ph.D., Dr. Sc., is Professor of Molecular Systematics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark (University of Copenhagen). He has a classical taxonomic education coupled with a profound interest in historical biogeography. He is an authority on the systematics of the monocotyledons and has done fieldwork in many parts of the globe. He has published taxonomic revisions, theoretical papers and papers on biogeography, molecular systematics and evolution, floras and floristics.


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