The great progress in phylogenetic understanding of angiosperms in the past decade is primarily due to comparative work on nucleotide sequences. Still, a combination of molecular and morphological analyses may give better support, and structural studies on fossil plants place the results in temporal perspective. In turn, the better phylogenetic relationships are resolved, the more it will be possible to study the evolution of structural and other biological traits. At present, it seems that many of the earlier assumptions of evolutionary change of structure in angiosperms are supported by the phylogenetic topologies and by paleobotanical evidence, but some almost dogmatic assumptions appear to be wrong. Whereas phylogenetic reconstruction by molecular studies proceeds rapidly, the contributions to the elucidation of evolution by comparative morphology and by molecular developmental genetics are slower. The slower pace is in part due to the greater complexity of the features studied in structural research. But this investment is more than compensated for by the amount of biological information it yields.

Key words: angiosperms, evolution, morphology, paleobotany, phylogeny, systematics