World Flora Online
The first global account of all the World’s plants for over 140 years
- There are an estimated 400,000 species of vascular plants on Earth, with with 70,000 more yet to be discovered
- The World Flora Online will be the first online Flora of all known plants
Understanding plant life on earth is fundamental to the conservation and sustainable use for the World’s resources. A full inventory is a major step in building that understanding.
The first target of the 2010 Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is An online flora of all known plants. In January 2012 representatives from the Missouri Botanical Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew met to discuss how to achieve this target by 2020. The meeting resulted in the World Flora Online and more than 40 institutions are now members of the WFO consortium. RBGE hosted the WFO meeting in 2013 and has continued to play an active role in the Technical and Taxonomic Working Groups, and in the WFO Council.
World Flora Online is unique because it gives taxonomic experts control of their own groups instead of compiling its taxonomy from secondary sources. It is a collaborative, international project, building upon existing knowledge and published floras, checklists and revisions, and will be the most comprehensive and accurate account of global plant diversity. The WFO portal was launched in summer 2018 at the XIX International Botanical Congress, and continues to grow as more content is brought in and the taxonomic backbone updated.
Key contact: Dr Mark Watson
The World Flora Online is a consortium of more than 40 botanical research institutions from all over the world