Progress in the understanding of the morphology of the angiosperms has been rapid in the twentieth century; much new factual information has been obtained and many conceptions and interpretations have been changed. These changes have been brought about by the studies of many botanists scattered throughout the world in the several fields of morphological study–descriptive, comparative, anatomical, ontogenetic–and these botanists have often brought to bear on their conclusions evidence from the allied botanical fields–taxonomy, cytology, paleobotany, serology, plant geography, palynology. This book has been prepared to bring together, in some measure, the results of these many scattered studies for the use especially of advanced students and teachers. During the preparation of this book, the author has been impressed with the importance of the earlier morphological literature, that of the middle of the nineteenth century especially, to the research of the overlooked or forgotten during the succeeding decades of increasing specialization, have been presented again in the twentieth century. The understanding of the earlier students of morphology is remarkable in the light of the small amount of factual information available to them; interpretations made a century ago often appear to be sounder than some later ones; today many botanists, in their highly specialized fields, lose sight of the broader aspects in the maze of details in their own particular area.

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