Copyright 1998, by the authors. All rights reserved

Vascular Plant Systematics (Radford, A. E., W. C. Dickison, J. R. Massey, C. R. Bell. 1976. Harper and Row, New York.) was written and edited in the mid 1970s by several botany professors at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It was readily used by botany students and botanists at many of the North Carolina universities from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s and still is a valuable asset to those who have access to a copy. The book speaks for itself in this quote from the Preface:

VASCULAR PLANT SYSTEMATICS includes (1) an essentially synoptical treatment of the evidence, principles, and concepts considered fundamental to vascular plant taxonomic studies and research; (2) organized laboratory and field exercises and problems basic to systematics; (3) useable and useful techniques; (4) summaries of terminology pertinent to taxonomy; (5) relevant bibliographies and indices; and (6) information on systematic facilities. This book was written as a reference text for basic courses in taxonomy and as a source book of information, procedures and references for ecosystematics, biosystematics, phylosystematics and chemosystematics.

The book was published only once, and despite many requests, to update and re-publish it would be a major undertaking. Much of the book is still useful and applicable today, and we have selected one particular chapter to present in this format. Chapter 6, on Phytography - Morphological Evidence is a unique, categorized glossary. Though many other glossaries of botanical terms have been published on the Web, few are more than just alphabetic lists of terms with definitions. Chapter 6 has arranged the terms, compiled from a number of sources, into structural parts and general characters and character states. The chapter has been edited into general HTML format while keeping the original text and the original illustrations by Marion S. Seiler. A selectable menu for navigating through the sections and illustrations is provided at the bottom of this page and will be found at the top and bottom of each section and subsection throughout the document.

For readers new to Vascular Plant Systematics and its glossary, the best place to start is the Beginning of the chapter, explaining the authors' original intent of the classified glossary, as well as a summary of the chapter organization, describing the four sections, A, B, C, and D. The next section is the System of Characterization , which is essentially the index to the four sections within the Chapter. The final introductory section, the Character Classification, defines the general characters and character states as outlined in the System of Characterization.

Those familiar with the Chapter and its contents will be able to move immediately to a give section by means of the selectable index in the frame at the left. This index indicates the major sections and subsections in the chapter and speeds the selection of a given topic. When selected, the result will be the whole page on which the topic is found, thus providing more of the context of the topic and its associated terms. One may also use the Query Form to determine the definition and/or usage of a single term at a time. This query form is to be used primarily for individual terms, whole or partial words. It will return every usage of the term and its accompanying definition found in the chapter, and if available, it will link to the appropriate illustration of the term. The query engine used in this Glossary is HTGREP v. 2.4 whose capabilities are gratefully acknowledged.

We welcome feedback from all who encounter this glossary. It is possible that in time, more of the Vascular Plant Systematics will find its way to this Web Site in similar fashion. Please let us know of your opinions, comments, suggestions, and additions.

Jimmy R. Massey

James C. Murphy