Angiosperm Families - INTKEY and WWW Packages

Mike Dallwitz miked at ENTO.CSIRO.AU
Fri Apr 4 18:07:06 CST 1997

              Angiosperm Families - INTKEY and WWW Packages
                      L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

New INTKEY and WWW versions of `The Families of Angiosperms' are
available via anonymous ftp from        (directory: /pub/delta/angio)
and via WWW from

The file Angio.1st contains information about downloading and installing the
INTKEY package. The WWW package inludes complete descriptions, with
highlighting of diagnostic features.

Every family is represented by a world-level morphological description
intended to be workable for identification, usually augmented by at least one
illustration; and to further assist with identification, facilities are
inbuilt for isolating regional subsets of families (e.g. for North and South
America, Eurasia, tropical Africa, Malesia). Comprehensive information is
included on geographical distributions and on variation in photosynthetic
pathways, and copious data are compiled on other aspects of general and
classificatory interest, including seedling structure, embryology, anther
ontogeny, pollen cytology and morphology, stigma type, sieve-tube plastids,
leaf phloem transfer cells, stem, wood and leaf blade anatomy, phytochemistry
(cyanogenesis, phenolics, alkalods, iridoids, etc.), ecology and economic
aspects. Also included are family synonyms; details on numbers of species and
genera per family, and complete lists or examples of the genera in each; the
complete classifications, to the level of Order, of Dahlgren, Cronquist and
Takhtajan for Dicotyledons, and of Dahlgren, Clifford and Yeo for
Monocotyledons; and comrehensive assignment of Dicotyledons to the major
groups Crassinucelli and Tenuinucelli. Literary quotations are appended to
many of the descriptions.

The descriptive data on Monocot seedlings have recently been greatly extended,
with reference to Tillich (1995); and individual family descriptions are
continually being edited, as as new and better data come to hand. Users should
note, however, that it is impracticable to account for proposed family
recircumscriptions when (as is usually the case with those reflecting recent
cladistic and molecular/cladistic studies) they are presented unaccompanied by
adequate revised family descriptions. How long will journal editors and
referees allow this taxonomic malpractice to continue?

Reference: Watson, L. and Dallwitz, M. J. (1991). The families of Angiosperms:
automated descriptions, with interactive identification and information
retrieval. Aust. Syst. Bot., 4, 681-95.

Les Watson
78 Vancouver Street                              Email: lesw at
Albany WA 6330, Australia                        Phone: +61 98 41 6181

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