This is a book not primarily meant for scientific use, but it may be seen as a useful tool for tourists with botanical interest and with some basic knowledge. Relative to its size, in the first five chapters quite a number of pages deal with basic information. The origin of the alpine flora since the Tertiary and its subsequent development through time, as well as the main phytogeographic relations of the region to the Floristic Regions are treated. Subsequent to this, attention has been paid to the peculiar aspects of alpine climate and soil development, and their consequences and constraints for plant growth and the emanent patterns of adaptations. These chapters especially may be informative for people from low countries, who are unfamiliar with these alpine phenomena. The wide systematic and ecological experience of the author, and the large number of illustrations and literature references in this section are very helpful. However, the references to the literature cited and suggested for further reading are coded in a complicated way, possibly to save some space, and this will not stimulate the reader to search for it. The following extensive chapter deals with the vegetational zones (‘Hdhenstufen’) and plant communities, mainly based on Braun-Blanquet typology, and restricted to the synsystematic level of allies. Being well written and presenting a fine overview of plant growth in the Alps, these introductory chapters are of great value and give this book considerable added value compared to many others that present just picture collections.