Good wine needs no bush, as the saying goes. The European Garden Flora is a must for any institute, grower or devoted plant lover working with garden plants. Volume III of this major vade-mecum is the first of four instalments of the dicotyledons containing families 43 to 82, the more primitive ones. Many authors from Great Britain and a few from Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany have contributed brief up-to-date treatments of many species interesting for garden use and in greenhouses. The Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, Kew, Glasnevin, Cambridge and the RHS Gardens Wisley vouch for the editing. As in previous volumes (treating the ferns, gymnosperms and monocotyledons) concise keys are provided, giving access to the species. In this respect the volume has an advantage over the RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Some genera are illustrated (leaves or inflorescences). References to other good illustrations from, as far as possible, widely available books are also given. The short descriptions are diagnostic, literature references where appropriate are brief but not too cryptically abbreviated for the convenience of non-taxonomists. Horticultural information is brief and useful for general guidance. Hardiness is indicated after the geographical distribution, which concerns the wild distribution.