SN: scientific name
This section includes the most recent (at publication) scientific or Latin name for each species. The first term of the scientific name represents the plant's genus, while the second identifies the species. In some cases, a variation is depicted when the first two words are follow by a "var" and then another name.

CN: common name
This section contains the common names of the plant identified. Many plant species do not have a common name, while at other times, some names are used to refer to several different species.

SYN: synonyms
This section includes synonyms (former scientific names currently deemed incorrect), that are most commonly used. For some species, other synonyms may exist, although these are used less frequently than the listed synonyms.

F: family
This section includes the family name of the plant identified. The plants are ordered alphabetically in the book according to their family.

R: range
This section states the geographic origin of the species.

AS: aquascaping
This section includes a suggestion as to where the plant should be planted based on its growing characteristics.

H: height
This section includes the height that the species will reach in well-maintained aquaria. Under less favorable conditions, plant growth may be stunted. In many cases, plants reach a different height when grown emerged.

AH: aquarium height
This section includes the suggested aquarium height for the species. In some cases a range is given, while in others, a minimum is given.

W: water
This section describes the range of water conditions that the indicated species can accept.

L: lighting
This section indicates the intensity of lighting for the described species. Subdued light has an intensity under 500 lux or from 1-2 Watts/gallon; moderate light has an intensity from 500-1000 lux or 2-2.5 Watts/gallon; bright light has an intensity from 1000-1500 lux or 2.5-3 Watts/gallon; very bright light has an intensity exceeding 1500 lux or 3 Watts/gallon.

S: substrate
This section includes recommendations as to the type of gravel to use. "Plain gravel" refers to fine gravel of size (#1 to #3).

P: propagation
This section indicates how the described species reproduces.

R: remarks
This section includes remarks about the described species that are not covered in the earlier sections.

DC: difficulty of care
This section includes a rating of the difficulty of care of the described species.
1-2 = indicates that the described plant species is robust and easy to grow. These species are tolerant of water chemistry and light intensity. These species reproduce readily. These plants are suitable for a beginner.
3-4 = indicates that the described plant species is robust, but slightly more difficult to grow than 1-2 rated species. These species are fussier about water conditions, lighting, and substrate, though they can be still recommended to the aquariast with some experience. These species often reproduce with little trouble. These species may need additives to enhance growth.
5-6 = indicates that the described plant species require a substantial amount of care. These species require water conditions within a specific perimeter and may need very bright lighting. These species may require a certain type of substrate and usually need regular fertilization to prosper. These species may be difficult to propagate and may be susceptible to disease. Some species may be bog plants that do best when given "dry time," where they are allowed to grow out of water for a period. These plants are recommenced for experienced aquariasts.
7-8 = indicates that the described species is difficult to grow. Propagation may be a challenge and care is extensive. Water properties must be stable and favorable water quality must be upheld in order to keep these species in good condition. Proper light intensity (often very bright), and substrate material is very important for success. Some bog species may require a period of time emerged to last more than a year. Regular fertilization is required as is regular pruning or thinning. When stressed, these species are open to disease. These species are only suggested for those having a lot of experience with raising aquatic plants.
9-10 = indicates that the described plant species is a challenge to raise and propagate (if possible). The water should be monitored carefully to see that it is within the correct perimeters. Regular fertilization is required as are frequent water changes. The species may be sensitive to changes in water chemistry, and should be introduced to the tank carefully. The plant may be short lived and may require a period growing emerged from the water. The substrate and lighting should be on target. These species are recommended for expert or enthusiast aquatic plant-keepers.