Taxonomy Link

With all of the advances in DNA identification, many of the previously known Latin names of the binomial system are going through many reclassifications. Understandably this causes some irritation to those of us who use the Latin names of plants, and there’s been some really thought provoking discussions on Latin vs. Common Names for plants on a number of great blogs.

A number of bloggers have expressed the concern that their printed reference material was fast being rendered useless, and that information on the ‘net wasn’t always accurate, and yearned for a single definitive site.

The most accurate general site I’m aware of – often used by the industry to keep a track of nomenclature changes – is http://www.theplantlist.org/ This is a collaboration between Kew & Missouri Botanic Gardens.

It isn’t going to be 100% accurate as it is still a static site, but it was completely updated as at September 2013, so is as comprehensive a reference for the most up-to-date binomial nomenclature for most species in the world that I’m aware of.

Hope this is useful – I would be really keen to hear if anyone knows of any other sites (even if it is just local, for instance, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney have the Plant Net database for NSW flora : http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/)

Anyway, if anyone has any sites that they use, it would be great to know about them!

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8 thoughts on “Taxonomy Link

  1. Hello!
    As you might be aware, every state within the USA has what is called an extension service. These services are funded through the USDA (United States Dept. Agriculture) and provide research and data to citizens about planting care and how-to. Some states have actually implemented ‘phase-out’ lists of plant varieties no longer permitted in the state. An example of that is Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/agr/farm-products/plants/massachusetts-prohibited-plant-list.html
    I have used extension services for up-to-date information about care and identifying plant species, but the information provided is effectively useful only within that state, as each state has varying soil, climate conditions, etc. the information is relative to just that specific area.
    EX: http://gardening.wsu.edu/ http://gardening.ces.ncsu.edu/plants-2/ http://www.uaf.edu/ces/pests/cnipm/plants/

    It would be nice to have a universal plant identity system that was consistently accurate and up-to-date. That’s a lot of plants!! 😀

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    • Wow – there’s some good sites. I had used the Washington state one as that climate is reasonably similar to my own, but had never really given the extension service any further thought, so it’s great to know it exists, even if only on a state-by-state basis

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  2. Thank you for that! I use the WA extension service too, but will definitely check out the one you mentioned. All those new names drive me bonkers, but I guess that is just yet another way the universe is trying to keep me humble! 😉

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