The Plant List

Last updated
The Plant List
ThePlantList.png
Type of site
Encyclopedia
Available in English
Created by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden
URL www.theplantlist.org
LaunchedDecember 2010
Current statusInactive since 2013 (version 1.1), superseded by World Flora Online

The Plant List was a list of botanical names of species of plants created by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden and launched in 2010. [1] It was intended to be a comprehensive record of all known names of plant species over time, and was produced in response to Target 1 of the 2002-2010 Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSP C), to produce "An online flora of all known plants.” It has not been updated since 2013, and has been superseded by World Flora Online. [2] [3]

Contents

World Flora Online

In October 2012, the follow-up project World Flora Online was launched with the aim to publish an online flora of all known plants by 2020. [4] This is a project of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, with the aim of halting the loss of plant species worldwide by 2020. It is developed by a collaborative group of institutions around the world response to the 2011-2020 GSPC's updated Target 1. This aims to achieve an online Flora of all known plants by 2020. [2] It was conceived in 2012 by an initial group of four institutions; the Missouri Botanical Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [5]

There is a complementary project called the International Plant Names Index, in which Kew is also involved. The IPNI aims to provide details of publication and does not aim to determine which are accepted species names. Newly published names are automatically added from IPNI to the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, a database which underlies the Plant List.

Findings

The Plant List has 1,064,035 scientific plant names of species rank, [6] of which 350,699 are accepted species names, belonging to 642 plant families and 17,020 plant genera. [7] The Plant List accepts approximately 350,699 unique species, with 470,624 synonyms for those species, which suggests that many species have been referred to under more than one name. As of 2014, The Plant List has determined that another 243,000 names are "unresolved", meaning that botanists have so far been unable to determine whether they are a separate species or a duplication of the 350,699 unique species.

Public attention

When The Plant List was launched in 2010 (the International Year of Biodiversity), it attracted media attention for its comprehensive approach. Fox News highlighted the number of synonyms encountered, suggesting that this reflected a "surprising lack" of biodiversity on earth." [8] The Plant List also attracted attention for building on the work of English naturalist Charles Darwin, who in the 1880s started a plant list called the Index Kewensis (IK). Kew has added an average of 6,000 species every year since the IK was first published with 400,000 names of species. [8] However, the IK (which by 1913 avoided making taxonomic judgement in its citations) is currently run as part of the IPNI rather than the Plant List. [9]

See also

Related Research Articles

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Government botanical research institute in the UK

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. An internationally important botanical research and education institution, it employs 1,100 staff. Its board of trustees is chaired by Dame Amelia Fawcett.

<i>Trillium erectum</i> Species of flowering plant

Trillium erectum, the red trillium, also known as wake robin, purple trillium, bethroot, or stinking benjamin, is a species of flowering plant in the family Melanthiaceae. The plant takes its common name "wake robin" by analogy with the European robin, which has a red breast heralding spring. Likewise Trillium erectum is a spring ephemeral whose life-cycle is synchronized with that of the forests in which it lives. It is native to the eastern United States and eastern Canada from northern Georgia to Quebec and New Brunswick.

International Plant Names Index Database of plant names

The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) describes itself as "a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of seed plants, ferns and lycophytes." Coverage of plant names is best at the rank of species and genus. It includes basic bibliographical details associated with the names. Its goals include eliminating the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names.

<i>Hepatica</i> Genus of flowering plants in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae

Hepatica is a genus of herbaceous perennials in the buttercup family, native to central and northern Europe, Asia and eastern North America. Some botanists include Hepatica within a wider interpretation of Anemone.

The 1893 Index Kewensis (IK), maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a publication that aims to register all botanical names for seed plants at the rank of species and genera. It later came to include names of taxonomic families and ranks below that of species.

Index Fungorum is an international project to index all formal names in the fungus kingdom. As of 2015 the project is based at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of three partners along with Landcare Research and the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Adolf Engler German botanist (1844–1930) noted for taxonomy

Heinrich Gustav Adolf Engler was a German botanist. He is notable for his work on plant taxonomy and phytogeography, such as Die natürlichen Pflanzenfamilien, edited with Karl A. E. von Prantl.

Elmer Drew Merrill U.S. botanist (1876–1956)

Elmer Drew Merrill was an American botanist and taxonomist. He spent more than twenty years in the Philippines where he became a recognized authority on the flora of the Asia-Pacific region. Through the course of his career he authored nearly 500 publications, described approximately 3,000 new plant species, and amassed over one million herbarium specimens. In addition to his scientific work he was an accomplished administrator, college dean, university professor and editor of scientific journals.

Dypsis canescens, also known as Chrysalidocarpus canescens, is a species of flowering plant in the family Arecaceae. It was identified in 1913 in Madagascar. It is probably extinct, given that it has not been seen for half a century.

<i>Symphyotrichum lateriflorum</i> Species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to central and eastern North America

Symphyotrichum lateriflorum is a species of flowering plant in the aster family (Asteraceae). Commonly known as calico aster, starved aster, and white woodland aster, it is native to eastern and central North America. It is a perennial and herbaceous plant that may reach heights up to 120 centimeters and widths up to 30 cm (1 ft).

<i>Orbexilum</i> Genus of plants

Orbexilum, commonly called leather-root, is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family (Fabaceae). They are native to North America, where they are found in the United States and Mexico, south to Chiapas.

<i>Acmispon dendroideus</i> Species of legume

Acmispon dendroideus, synonym Syrmatium veatchii, is a species of legume native to California. It is known by the common name island broom. It is endemic to the Channel Islands of California, where it grows on coastal bluffs and cliffs. It is a spreading perennial herb or erect shrub approaching 2 meters in height. It is hairless to hairy and gray-green in color. The branches lined with leaves each made up of a few oval leaflike leaflets up to 1.5 centimeters long each. The inflorescence bears up to 10 yellow pealike flowers, each roughly a centimeter long and fading red as they age.

The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families is an "international collaborative programme that provides the latest peer reviewed and published opinions on the accepted scientific names and synonyms of selected plant families." Maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, it is available online, allowing searches for the names of families, genera and species, as well as the ability to create checklists.

The Kew Rule was used by some authors to determine the application of synonymous names in botanical nomenclature up to about 1906, but was and still is contrary to codes of botanical nomenclature including the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants. Index Kewensis, a publication that aimed to list all botanical names for seed plants at the ranks of species and genus, used the Kew Rule until its Supplement IV was published in 1913.

<i>Symphyotrichum oolentangiense</i> Species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to eastern and central North America

Symphyotrichum oolentangiense, commonly known as skyblue aster and azure aster, is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae native to eastern North America.

World Flora Online Encyclopedic list of scientific plant names

World Flora Online is an Internet-based compendium of the world's plant species.

<i>Scleria pauciflora</i> Species of grass-like plant

Scleria pauciflora, known as few-flowered nutrush, papillose nut-sedge, and Carolina-whipgrass, is a plant in the sedge family (Cyperaceae) native to northern Mexico, the eastern United States, southern Canada, and Cuba. It is common across a broad stretch of the southeastern United States in many different habitat types, becoming rare at the northern end of its distribution.

<i>Protea wentzeliana</i> Species of shrub

Protea wentzeliana, also known as Wentzel's sugarbush, is a shrub belonging to the genus Protea.

<i>Eriocapitella tomentosa</i> Species of flowering plant

Eriocapitella tomentosa, a species of flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, is native to Asia. The specific epithet tomentosa means "thickly matted with hairs, tomentum (padding)". In Chinese, a common name is da huo cao (大火草), which means "big fire grass" or "great fireweed".

Elaeocarpus stipularis is a tree in the Elaeocarpaceae family. It is found from the Aru Islands, eastern Indonesia, to Philippines, and through Mainland Southeast Asia to Odisha, India. It has edible fruit, its wood is used and some medical uses are ascribed to it.

References

  1. "World's Largest Plants Database Assembled". discovery.com. 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2011-01-02.
  2. 1 2 "Home — The Plant List". www.theplantlist.org. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  3. "Home". www.worldfloraonline.org. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  4. "Website of the World Flora Online Consortium". The World Flora Online Consortium. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  5. "World Flora Online". www.missouribotanicalgarden.org. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  6. "Summary Statistics". The Plant List. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  7. "US, British scientists drew up the comprehensive list of world's known land plants". CBC.[ dead link ]
  8. 1 2 "World's Plant Life Far Less Diverse Than Previously Thought". Fox News. 30 December 2010.
  9. "About the Index Kewensis". International Plant Names Index. 2004.