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Book ID:  107669
Metherell, Chris and Fred Rumsey

Eyebrights (Euphrasia) of the UK and Ireland. 2018. (BSBI, Handbook 18). illus. 220 p. Paper bd.
Eyebrights are at once familiar and baffling. They are found in every area of the UK in many different ecological niches and yet their identification is notoriously difficult and their taxonomy has been a subject of debate for many generations of botanists. Even the arrival of DNA analysis has done little, at this stage, to dispel the fog of uncertainty surrounding this genus. It is hoped that will change over the next few years as better and more discriminating cytological work can be undertaken. At present we provide this account of the genus in the UK in the hope that it will encourage more field botanists to develop an interest in Euphrasia and, by so doing, add to our understanding of this difficult but fascinating group of plants. The taxonomy of the species in this handbook is based on the work of previous Euphrasiologists, modified in relatively small but we hope efficient ways in the light of our own fieldwork and experiences. All the species descriptions, although based on previous published versions, have been rewritten and adjusted in the hope that their clarity and effectiveness can be improved. Hybrid descriptions are entirely the result of our own work, both in the herbarium and in the field. We must highlight that this handbook only deals with Euphrasia species and hybrids as they occur in the UK and Ireland. Although, where appropriate, we have perused as much European material as possible and taken account of this when making taxonomic and other decisions, we have made no attempt to ensure that our descriptions and keys are valid outside our chosen geographical unit. Finally we must confess that in some cases there is such uncertainty as to the taxonomic status of specific populations of Euphrasia that we have felt obliged to dodge the issue of their status altogether for the present and either include them within the ambit of currently accepted species or hybrids, or in some cases admit defeat. These unfortunate situations are highlighted in the main text where they occur.
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