It is unfortunately common practice among a large group of taxonomic botanists to identify a typological or phenetic system of classification with phylogeny as if phylogeny is inescapably and invariable inferred from typology. The title of Dittmer’s book, accordingly, promises much more than it gives. ‘Phylogeny’ means the evolution of taxonomic groups, so that in a textbook that professes to deal with plant phylogeny one may at least expect a good coverage of the fossil groups and a comprehensive account of some leading phylogenetic theories. In this respect the contents of the book fall far short of the minimum standard. Not only is the title decidedly misleading, but, it also misrepresents some rather generally held views, quite apart from containing some glaring mistakes.