The first edition of Stace’s PlanI Taxonomy and Biosystematics was published in 1980 and has been widely used as a successful and refreshing textbook over the last decade. In this second edition, all chapters have been updated but, above all, the important developments and recent applications of molecular techniques and cladistic methods for plant systematics have been incorporated. The resulting text is again a well-written and coherent manual which puts general principles before examples, but is still so rich in the latter that one does not lose sight of the plants and of botanical diversity which, after all, is what plant taxonomy is all about. Stace’s attitude towards cladism is one of qualified support, but in between the lines there are indications of a sound dislike of the dogmatic and missionary zeal of its more radical proponents. Although one can wholeheartedly sympathize with this—in my personal opinion—balanced attitude, the chapter explaining cladistic analysis could have been more clearly written. Stace misses the point, I think, when he compares phenetic and phylogenetic classifications and opts for the most predictive approach. Phylogenetic systematics is not about creating a predictive classification but about attempting to unravel the one and only historical genealogy of plant species. Phenetic classifications, if based on a multitude of characters, are predictive by virtue of the very way in which they are constructed. As the author clearly demonstrates in his chapters on biosystematics, plant evolution can move in the most complex and devious ways, and it is no wonder that a true historical genealogy does not necessarily have maximal predictive value. On the other hand, it is these devious ways, especially of speciation through hybridization, which cladists often conveniently ignore in their phylogenetic reconstructions.