World Checklist of Selected Plant Families

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The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (usually abbreviated to WCSP) 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." [1] 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.

Botanical nomenclature is the formal, scientific naming of plants. It is related to, but distinct from taxonomy. Plant taxonomy is concerned with grouping and classifying plants; botanical nomenclature then provides names for the results of this process. The starting point for modern botanical nomenclature is Linnaeus' Species Plantarum of 1753. Botanical nomenclature is governed by the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN), which replaces the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN). Fossil plants are also covered by the code of nomenclature.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew non-departmental public body 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 Marcus Agius, a former chairman of Barclays.


The project traces its history to work done in the 1990s by Kew researcher Rafaël Govaerts on a checklist of the genus Quercus . Influenced by the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, the project expanded. As of January 2013, 173 families of seed plants were included. [1] Coverage of monocotyledon families is complete; other families are being added. [2]

Rafaël Herman Anna Govaerts is a Belgian botanist. He is particularly noted for his work on plant taxonomy.

The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is a program of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity founded in 1999. The GSPC seeks to slow the pace of plant extinction around the world through a strategy of 5 objectives.

Monocotyledon important clade of plants

Monocotyledons, commonly referred to as monocots, are flowering plants (angiosperms), the seeds of which typically contain only one embryonic leaf, or cotyledon. They constitute one of the major groups into which the flowering plants have traditionally been divided, the rest of the flowering plants having two cotyledons and therefore classified as dicotyledons, or dicots. However, molecular phylogenetic research has shown that while the monocots form a monophyletic group or clade, the dicotyledons do not. Monocotyledons have almost always been recognized as a group, but with various taxonomic ranks and under several different names. The APG III system of 2009 recognises a clade called "monocots" but does not assign it to a taxonomic rank.

There is a complementary project called the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), 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. After a delay of about a year, newly published names are automatically added from the IPNI to the WCSP. [2] The WCSP is also one of the underlying databases for The Plant List, created by Kew and the Missouri Botanical Garden, which was unveiled in 2010. [3]

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.

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. 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, to produce "An online flora of all known plants.” It has not been updated since 2013, and is superseded by World Flora Online.

Missouri Botanical Garden United States historic place

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri. It is also known informally as Shaw's Garden for founder and philanthropist Henry Shaw. Its herbarium, with more than 6.6 million specimens, is the second largest in North America, behind only that of the New York Botanical Garden.

See also

The Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) is an online database of all published names of Australian vascular plants. It covers all names, whether current names, synonyms or invalid names. It includes bibliographic and typification details, information from the Australian Plant Census including distribution by state, links to other resources such as specimen collection maps and plant photographs, and the facility for notes and comments on other aspects.

Convention on Biological Diversity International treaty

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treaty. The Convention has three main goals including: the conservation of biological diversity ; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

Plants of the World Online is an online database published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It was launched in March 2017 with the ultimate aim being "to enable users to access information on all the world's known seed-bearing plants by 2020". The initial focus was on tropical African Floras, particularly Flora Zambesiaca, Flora of West Tropical Africa and Flora of Tropical East Africa.

Related Research Articles

The 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.

<i>Brodiaea coronaria</i> species of plant

Brodiaea coronaria is the type species of Brodiaea and also known by the common names harvest brodiaea and crown brodiaea. It is native to western North America from British Columbia to northern California, where it grows in mountains and grasslands.

<i>Dracaena aurea</i> species of plant

Dracaena aurea, the golden hala pepe, is a species of flowering plant that is endemic to the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaii. It inhabits coastal mesic and mixed mesic forests at elevations of 120–1,070 m (390–3,510 ft). It is a small evergreen tree, usually 4.6–7.6 m (15–25 ft) tall, but sometimes reaches 12 m (39 ft). The gray, straight trunk does not have bark and is 0.3–0.9 m (0.98–2.95 ft) in diameter. The sword-shaped leaves are 20–51 cm (7.9–20.1 in) long and 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) wide.

<i>Trillium albidum</i> species of plant

Trillium albidum, also known as giant white wakerobin, white toadshade, and sweet trillium, is a species of flowering plant in the family Melanthiaceae. The species is endemic to the western United States, ranging from west central California through Oregon to southwestern Washington. It is found in diverse habitats, on the moist slopes of mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, among shrubs and thickets, and along stream banks and river beds.

<i>Stenanthium</i> genus of plants

Stenanthium is a North American genus of flowering plants in the tribe Melanthieae of the family Melanthiaceae.

<i>Dendrobium bigibbum</i> species of plant

Dendrobium bigibbum, commonly known as the Cooktown orchid or mauve butterfly orchid, is an epiphytic or lithophytic orchid in the family Orchidaceae. It has cylindrical pseudobulbs, each with between three and five green or purplish leaves and arching flowering stems with up to twenty, usually lilac-purple flowers. It occurs in tropical North Queensland, Australia and New Guinea.

Oeceoclades antsingyensis is a terrestrial orchid species in the genus Oeceoclades that is endemic to western Madagascar. It was first described by Günter Gerlach in 1995. The type specimen was collected approximately 13 km (8.1 mi) west of Antsalova.

Oeceoclades aurea is a terrestrial orchid species in the genus Oeceoclades that is endemic to Madagascar. It was first described by Xavier Garreau de Loubresse in a 1994 issue of the French orchid society journal Orchidée.

<i>Bulbophyllum sagemuelleri</i> species of plant

Bulbophyllum sagemuelleri is a species of orchid in the genus Bulbophyllum endemic to Negros Occidental, Philippines. It is named after Reinhard Sagemüller, father of Filipino Orchid Enthusiast Josef Sagemüller. It is placed in section Epicranthes.

Oeceoclades lavergneae is a terrestrial orchid species in the genus Oeceoclades that is endemic to Réunion in the Indian Ocean. It was first described by French orchid enthusiast and collector Jean-Bernard Castillon in 2012. The type specimen was collected from the forests on the western cliffs of the island along the Rivière des Galets at about 700 m (2,297 ft) elevation.

<i>Empetrum nigrum <span style="font-style:normal;">subsp.</span> asiaticum</i> subspecies of plant

Empetrum nigrum subsp. asiaticum, the Korean crowberry, is a subspecies of the flowering plant species Empetrum nigrum in the heather family, Ericaceae. The plant is called siromi (시로미) in Korean and gankōran (岩高蘭) in Japanese.

Arthrostylidium longiflorum is a species of Arthrostylidium bamboo in the grass family.

Arthrostylidium merostachyoides is a species of Arthrostylidium bamboo in the grass family.

Bambusa brevispicula is a species of Bambusa bamboo.

<i>Fritillaria reuteri</i> species of plant

Fritillaria reuteri is a perennial herbaceous bulbous plant, distributed in Turkey and Iran. It is a species in the genus Fritillaria, in the family Liliaceae. It is placed in the subgenus Fritillaria.

<i>Stillingia lineata</i> species of plant

Stillingia lineata is a species of flowering plant in the family Euphorbiaceae, native to Réunion, Mauritius, the South China Sea, Malesia and Fiji.


  1. 1 2 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew , retrieved 2012-01-06
  2. 1 2 "About the Checklist", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-01-06
  3. World's Largest Plants Database Assembled, Discovery News, 2010