The Flora Europaea presents for the first time a synthesis of all the national and regional Floras of Europe. It is based on a critical review of existing literature and on studies on herbaria and in the field. It aims to be simple as well as authoritative, and should enable the reader to name as far as its subspecies any fern, conifer or flowering plant growing wild or wildly cultivated. The second of the four volumes covers the Dicotyledonous families from Rosaceae to Umbelliferae, following the Engler system. Apart from keys and descriptions, information is given on geographical distribution and, where possible, on habitat preference and chromosome number. All names used in current Floras or important monographs are cited in the text or index. The text, in English, uses a limited vocabulary, and there are glossaries of technical terms and Latin equivalents.