The use of the family name may be of considerable help in some cases but requires some previous botanical knowledge. Specimens can be identified without the use of the family feature and novices would be well advised to avoid the use of this feature until they are familiar with the characteristics of the large number of different families encountered in Australian rain forests. It should be noted that if a specimen is incorrectly assigned to a particular family, it will be impossible to correctly identify it, irrespective of how carefully the other features are observed.
Family circumscriptions adopted are those recognized by the Australian Plant Census (http://www.anbg.gov.au/chah/apc/index.html) (in May 2010) as viewed through the Australian Plant Name Index online database search (http://www.cpbr.gov.au/cpbr/databases/apni-search-full.html).
In previous verions of this identification system the families recognized were those of A. J. Cronquist (1981) An Integrated System of Classification of Flowering Plants, Columbia University Press, New York.