Lersten emphasizes the plant species that affect human livelihood, including weeds and other cultivated plants that are used for commercial products. Selected from the thousands of economically important plants, the examples chosen for illustration and discussion are familiar, especially to students from North America, Northern Europe, and Japan. Although the emphasis of this book is economically important plants, the information within applies to almost all flowering plants.
Extremely readable and well-written, this book is neither dense nor academic in tone. Lersten treats topics with a uniformity of style and organization that enhances comprehension. Terms are well-defined and the derivation of each is explained to further facilitate student learning. The book presents research results, hypotheses, and speculations about why things are as they are, with supporting facts and specific examples that provide a firm foundation for students' understanding of embryological diversity among economic plants.