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The Plant List is a list of
botanical name A botanical name is a formal scientific name In taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specif ...
s of species of plants created by the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a non-departmental public body In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegr ...
and the
Missouri Botanical Garden greenhouse at the Missouri Botanical Garden simulates the climate of a rainforest for conservational and educational purposes. The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' a ...

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 The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is a program of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treatyMultilateral may ...
(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 It has not been updated since 2013, and has been superseded by World Flora Online.


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. 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. It was conceived in 2012 by an initial group of four institutions; , The
New York Botanical Garden The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is a botanical garden at Bronx Park in the Bronx, New York City. Established in 1891, it is located on a site that contains a landscape with over one million living plants; the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a ...

New York Botanical Garden
, the
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies ...
and the
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a non-departmental public body In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegr ...
. There is a complementary project called the
International Plant Names Index The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) describes itself as "a database In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algor ...
, 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 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 In Taxonomy (biology), t ...
, a database which underlies the Plant List.


Findings

The Plant List has 1,064,035 scientific
plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, can later be released to fuel ...

plant
names of
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
rank, of which 350,699 are accepted species names, belonging to 642 plant
families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the w ...
and 17,020 plant
genera Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
. The Plant List accepts approximately 350,699 unique species, with 470,624
synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme A morpheme is the smallest meaningful lexical item in a language. A morpheme is not a word. The difference between a morpheme and a word is that a morpheme bound and free morphemes, sometimes does not stand alone ...
s for those species, which suggests that many species have been referred to under more than one name. , 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 The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) was a year-long celebration of biological diversity and its importance, taking place internationally in 2010. Coinciding with the date of the 2010 Biodiversity Target, the year was declared by the 61s ...
), it attracted media attention for its comprehensive approach.
Fox News The Fox News Channel, abbreviated FNC, commonly known as Fox News, and stylized in all caps In typography, all caps (short for "all capitalization, capitals") refers to text or a typeface, font in which all letters are capital letters, for ...
highlighted the number of synonyms encountered, suggesting that this reflected a "surprising lack" of biodiversity on earth." The Plant List also attracted attention for building on the work of
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecul ...

naturalist
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that fu ...

Charles Darwin
, who in the 1880s started a plant list called the
Index Kewensis 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 genus, genera. It later came to include names of taxonomic family ...
(IK). Kew has added an average of 6,000 species every year since the IK was first published with 400,000 names of species. 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.


See also

*
Australian Plant Census The Australian Plant Census (APC) provides an online interface to currently accepted, published, scientific names of the vascular flora of Australia, as one of the output interfaces of the national government Integrated Biodiversity Information Syst ...
*
Australian Plant Name Index 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 ...
*
Global Strategy for Plant Conservation The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) is a program of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is a multilateral treatyMultilateral may ...
, whose Target One states the need for "An online flora of all known plants." *
International Plant Names Index The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) describes itself as "a database In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algor ...
*
Wikispecies Wikispecies is a wiki A wiki ( ) is a hypertext publication Collaborative editing, collaboratively edited and managed by its own audience directly using a web browser. A typical wiki contains multiple pages for the subjects or scope of th ...


References


External links

*
World Flora Online - An Online Flora of All Known Plants

State of the World's Plants
{{DEFAULTSORT:Plant List . Databases in the United Kingdom Databases in the United States Missouri Botanical Garden Online botany databases Plant taxonomy Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew