First published in German in 1954 and now translated into English, this work represents the first comprehensive account of floral syndromes. This natural system of flower forms associated with pollinator guilds was first conceptualized by Delpino in the 19th century, and is widely accepted today.
After providing a detailed theoretical foundation and characterizing floral traits and pollinators in general, the book exemplifies the syndrome concept via approximately 140 original field-based case studies of flowers belonging to 57 plant families found in Southern Africa. These accounts demonstrate how genera and higher tribes underwent adaptive radiation, forming parallel series of distinct syndromes of pollinator-linked traits. The author provides his own very accurate and lifelike morphological drawings including colour plates which represent five principal zoophilous floral syndromes and reveal in a striking and beautiful way the parallelism inherent in the evolution of floral syndromes and reveal in a striking and beautiful way the parallelism inherent in the evolution of floral syndromes within different taxa.
This book is bound to motivate further field-based studies in pollination biology, currently a major research focus in Southern Africa and elsewhere, and will serve as an important reference work for further studies of floral syndromes.