Recent Developments and News

4.12.2022 Update 14.4
Revision of Fabales, adding about 10.000 synonyms which were temporarily excluded (doubtful status and not in ILDIS) but assigned now again. The total number of recognized species goes down slightly (by about 200) because of clarification of doubtful taxa.
New IPNI data will be added before end of the year.
Next revision coming: Rosaceae through Onagraceae.

21.11.2022 Update 14.3
Thorough revision of Gymnosperms / basal Angiosperms (Cycadaceae through Annonaceae) and the first 20 % of Dicotyledonae (Ceratophyllaceae through Malpighiales). The number of recognized species was reduced significantly (by ca. 1000) and synonym number was increased by at least 10.000. But the amount of uncertain species also could be lowered significantly.
More revisions and updates are ongoing - I hope to complete a full revision of most Dicotyledons through this winter, to bring them to the same status as Ferns and most Monocots already have. Currently in the works, but not yet online is Fabaceae and Rosaceae.

15.10.2022 Update 14.2 - Major Update
- New IPNI data imported as of October 14th, 2022.
- The new Annotated Checklist of Flowering Plants of India (Mao & Dash 2020, 3 volumes) has been completely included (over 21.000 species in full synonymy, about 1/15th of the total World Flora). This covers one of the last remaining "big gaps" in species verification using local checklists and floras. The quality of the India checklist is somewhat fluctuating - several families are already quite outdated, others are very good. Hundreds of doubtful names could be eliminated, and accordingly the worldwide total number of recognized species is reduced, but the percentage of verified species much increased.
- New checklist of Chile (Rodriguez et al. 2018) completely included, which is a significant improvement over the Catalogo do Cono Sur and the older Chile checklist. This list covers also Isla da Pascua (Easter Island), Islas Desventuradas and the Juan Fernandez Archipelago.
- Revised classification and checklist of genus Viola (670 species) adapted from Marcussen et al. (2022), which led to much clarification of uncertain names, but also to resurrection of many split species, especially in North America. The total number of recognized species nevertheless decreased significantly.
- Familie Juncaceae completely revised, mostly based on the worldwide treatment by Kirschner (2002) and some subsequent papers
Revised classification and phylogeny of Melastomataceae based on the detailed monograph by Goldenberg et al. (2022)
- Orchidaceae: Genus Epidendrum with almost 2000 species completely updated - all volumina of Icones Orchidacearum included.
- Revision of Genus Euphorbia for South Africa (Bruyns 2022, two volumes) included, which led to a major reduction in species count - there were way too many taxa described.
- Iridaceae of southern Africa (Goldblatt & Manning 2020) included, with about 1100 species covered and much taxonomic rearrangement and reduction of species numbers
- Flora of the Cook Islands (Sykes 2016) included, which led to many changes and additions, especially for the very species-rich Rarotonga Island.
- Completely revised genus Rubus for Europe by inclusion of the Distribution Atlas (Kurtto et al. 2015).
- Several new volumes of Floras of Gabon, Cameroon and Flore Afrique Centrale included.
- Nomenclature of Gesneriaceae fully revised and many fragmentary literature citations completed
- Several new genus revisions included
- New Checklist of San Marino (Alessandrini et al. 2022) included, species numbers more than tripled. So far only a very old flora (Pampanini 1930) was existing for this small country.
- Distribution Atlas of genus Alchemilla for Europe included

5.9.2022 The new page "Literature survey" has been added, being a compilation of the most important newer Floras, Field Guides and Checklists (sources more than 50 years old have been added only in exceptional cases). This long list has been compiled with the help and assistance of Alexey Shipunov - thanks to Alexey for this invaluable help, which also included supply of many long needed books! I hope for many additions and corrections by the users.

21.8.2022 Update 14.1
- Have eliminated about 2,000 duplicate names which were identified through a database analysis and cross-check by a Leipzig team led by David Schellenberger-Costa; in preparation for an upcoming publication. Thanks to David for this! 98 % of the duplicates were in synonyms but very few duplicates listed as valid were verified.
- Other inconsistencies were addressed, too (including some author names like Gray/A. Gray).
- IPNI-data as of August 20th, 2022 and a few minor papers were added.

2.8.2022 New Version 14.0
- Have added over 30,000 pictures of vascular plants consisting of the Germany, Alps, Rhodos and Pennsylvania/New Jersey data sets in flora-germanica.de.
- The total is now ca. 38,300 pictures of ca. 15,700 taxa. More pictures are coming soon.
- Many corrections, distribution and taxonomy updates in Ferns based on meticulous work by Christopher Hoess (thank you for this!).

25.7.2022 Update 13.3
- IPNI data imported as of July 24th, 2022.
- added a few 100 pictures of Monocotyledonae (mostly German flora)

2.7.2022 Update 13.2
- IPNI data imported as of July 1st, 2022, adding about 40 new species
- Started to include pictures for non-Ferns and non-Orchids. This will cover initially mostly the Germany (central European) flora for which I have about 6.000 species in pictures. More pictures will be added gradually.

22.6.2022 The month of May was the first month with more than 10.000 unique visitors per month at worldplants.de (excluding bots)! Page calls are of course a multiple of this. Thank you for all your interest. User numbers are steadily climbing.

21.6.2022 Update 13.1
- IPNI data imported as of June 19th, 2022, adding about 160 new species in total
- German checklist of Hand et al. (2022, www.kp-buttler.de) now completely imported, adding about 40.000 old names in total, many of them not yet in IPNI. Apologies if some duplicate synonyms have been created. Also for most of these names, the full literature citation is still missing, only page and year are listed. The literature citations will be added slowly over time.
- Relatively few phylogeny papers added, none very large
- Noteworthy monography: Barboza et al. (2022) for the genus Capsicum, clarifying many names
- Taxonomy of newly published Flora Germanica books (Hassler & Muer 2022, see www.flora-germanica.de) now adopted for Germany
- Imported many - mostly older - Hieracium and Pilosella names which were meticulously curated in the German checklist of Gottschlich (2020).
- Fixed many small errors reported by users (thank you for this!)
- Some fern pictures are still waiting for input, I have not found time for this. If you see some "missing picture" in ferns, those will pop up soon.

29.5.2022 New version 13.0
- New "country checklist" function established (see "country stats"), which gives the complete (non-synonymic) checklist for a country or region as output.
- New phylogenies for several large families (published in Am. J. Bot. 107, 2021).
- Imported ca. 60 % of the Germany checklist of Hand et al. (2022), including numerous older synonyms on variety- and subspecies-level which have not yet been in IPNI. Working on importing the rest of the data (which is a lot of work and will need a few more weeks). Please be aware that probably some duplicate synonyms have resulted which will be eliminated slowly.
- IPNI-data imported as of May 27th, 2022, including numerous older synonyms on variety-level which were newly included in IPNI
- Included the Hungary-Checklist of Kiraly et al. 2011 which had been overlooked so far (Hungary was covered not really well in the previous data, based only on Flora Europaea).
- Included some new phylogeny papers

7.3.2022 Update 12.11. New IPNI data imported as of March 3rd, 2022.
New reorganization and phylogeny of the Mammillaria group (Cactaceae, Sánchez et al. 2022).
Spent quite some time with Gymnospermae, adding literature citations, streamlining taxonomy (mostly following Farjon 2017) and revising doubtful species. So far this group was admittedly somewhat neglected by me. Now it should be in much better shape.
Included the Phyllanthaceae (tribe Phyllantheae)-revision of Bowman et al. (2022) with very many new combinations.
Added more distribution data for one of the "ministates" (San Marino) - but only the very old work of Pampanini (1930) is available.
Started to add the very detailed synonymy of the "Florenliste für Deutschland" (Hand et al., version 12.0, 2022) which meticulously covers very many infraspecific taxa. Will need quite some time to complete this. I am grateful for the permission to do so.

18.2.2022 Update 12.10. New IPNI data transferred as of February 6th, 2022. Many old names (19th century) did get more precise information, and literature citations were added in many cases.
Major new phylogeny of Apiaceae (Clarkson et al. 2021) which clarified much, especially in the basal groups. But the system in the more advanced groups (like Torilidinae) remains somewhat unclear and needs much more work.
Major new phylogeny of Acanthaceae (Manzitto-Tripp et al. 2022) including all genera, which is a big improvement in this family which had so far only sketchy data. But work remains especially in the monster-genus Justicia.
Orchid phylogeny was refined by input taken from the system of Chase et al. (2015). The new orchid phylogeny by Pérez-Escobar et al. 2021 more or less confirmed the existing system but did contain only the suprageneric entities and did not go down to generic level.

9.1.2022 Update 12.9: Eliminated several 1000 duplicate names through the whole database (almost all in synonyms), using the new checking tool from Catalogue of Life. IPNI data imported as of January 7th, 2022. New phylogeny of Rutaceae (Applehans et al. 2021). Many small updates and corrections in Ferns (thanks mostly to Chris Hoess). Many literature imports, notably the new Poaceae volumes of Flora Iberica.

5.12.2021 Update 12.8. Used a new database tool by Catalogue of Life to check for duplicate names and cleaned the whole database (at least the part included in COfL). This eliminated a few 100 duplicates, 99% of them in synonyms. Fortunately, only very few valid names were duplicate. Thanks to the programmers of COfL who created this really useful tool! Another ca. 1500 duplicate names (again mostly synonyms, only a few valid names) of "non-COfL taxa" are still pending and will be included in the next update.
Included the 2015 checklist of Ferns of Brazil, which created some headaches regarding distribution and taxonomy, but eliminated a few doubtful names.

27.11.2021 Update 12.7. Included the new Checklist of New Guinea which was a very welcome addition and clarified many doubtful names. Unfortunately there is still no differentiation between mainland Papua and Bismarck Archipelago in this checklist.
Added IPNI updates as of November 23rd, 2021.
Some major phylogenetic papers included, for example dismantling of Dysoxylum (Meliaceae) by Holzmeyer et al. 2021, new Cyperaceae classification by Larridon et al. 2021 or Andropogoneae (Poaceae) systematics by Welker et al. 2020.

7.11.2021 Update 12.6. A number of changes in Ferns, especially Thelypteridaceae. Thanks to Chris Hoess, Susan Fawcett and Alan R. Smith for plenty of input.
Included Flora Malesiana (Lamiaceae, 2019) which eliminated a large number of uncertain names in the former Verbenaceae (Premna, etc.).
Cactaceae phylogeny completely revised according to newest available papers (but there is still much in flux especially within the tribes).
Tried to retrieve the so called and much hyped "Cactaceae checklist" from Potsdam (see Willdenowia 51(2)) through WFO. As it turns out, this is not worth the effort - many taxa missing, no new taxonomic insights, sketchy distribution data. So I still believe that the existing Cactaceae treatment in WorldPlants is in better shape, even if Cactaceae still suffers from too many microspecies with doubtful value described on pure morphological grounds. But more and more molecular/phylogenetic works are appearing now.

14.10.2021 Update 12.5. IPNI-data (new names) as of October 8th, 2021 are imported. Some major reviews imported, especially in Orchids (Chase et al.). New Calyceraceae phylogeny adapted from Pozner et al. 2021.
Finally I found the time to include Flora Mesoamericana (Piperaceae) with numerous changes in Piper and Peperomia, and also the revised Orchidaceae-Pleurothallidinae genera by Karremans (2016) including subsequent publications.
Plenty of changes in Ferns: new Thelypteridaceae genera and combinations (Fawcett & Smith 2021), new checklist for Honduras (Reyes-Chávez 2021) and the new Flora of the Marquesas (Lorence & Wagner 2019), as well as numerous small corrections from users.

25.8.2021 User numbers for both worldplants.de and flora-germanica.de remain high and holding steady at 8.000 individual visitors per month and 12.000 visits per month. Thank you all for your interest!

6.8.2021 Update 12.4. IPNI-data (new names) as of August 3rd, 2021 are imported. Some taxonomic errors and omissions fixed (especially in Ferns). Thanks to many contributors!
New Saxifragaceae phylogeny adapted from Folk et al. (2021).

23.6.2021 The bug in the search function has been found and fixed.

20.6.2021 A major bug in the search routines has been identified - if search results are too many and are divided down into letters, then the letters (A-Z) cannot be clicked on resp. do not deliver results. We are working on a fix. This did work previously so it should be solvable. Apologies to all users.

28.5.2021 Update 12.3. The below described bug has been fixed. Also some literature added (2 recent volumes of Flora Zambesiaca, the Piperaceae volume of Flora Mesoamericana, etc.).

25.5.2021 Bug discovered: Some users found a significant bug which fortunately occurs only sporadically (otherwise we would have noticed it earlier). If a species "2" (which contains subspecies) follows another species "1" (which contains variants), the headline of species 2 is suppressed. We are working on a fix but will need 2-3 days for it. In total this might affect probably 100-200 cases in the whole database.

23.5.2021 Traffic count: For the first time more than 10.000 individual users per month were recorded. Thank you all.

11.5.2021 Update 12.2. IPNI-Data until 7.5.2021 included.
Relatively little work done with publications and papers (had other priorities). Some newly received volumes of country floras still awaiting inclusion.
Some bugfixes, display and program improvements.

14.3.2021 Update 12.1. IPNI-Data until 13.3.2021 included. Some taxonomical rearrangements in Fabaceae/Fabeae.
Improvements: Search Function now much improved (display of search results more clearly indicated and labeled "valid" or "synonym").
Display of subspecies, varieties etc. improved (standardized tabs) to show rank more clearly.
Taxonomy: "Pandanaceae project" for family Pandanaceae was imported, which reduced the number of valid species greatly (from about 1100 to 778) and eliminated tons of uncertain names. Now the number of valid species is close to the estimated correct number.

1.3.2021 Major Update 12.0. IPNI-Data from 2010-2021 have been carefully crosschecked and a significant number of species added which were with some delay added in IPNI and therefore not available in WorldPlants up to now. So the newly described taxa should be all in, at least up to January 2021. Species total climbs to 352.093.
Also, some minor bugfixes and layout improvements.
A few corrections suggested by users (thanks to everybody who contributed).
Catalogue of Life have resolved their update issues and will start regular updates again in March. The data of WP version 12.0 will be synchronized into COfL probably mid-March.

9.2.2021 Update 11.5: Layout improvement: Both World Ferns and World Orchids have now their own "Country Stats" listing.
Search Function box made longer due to requests from various users.
Over 100 additional Taiwanese fern pictures (provided by Ralf Knapp - thank you again!) added, as well as some nomenclatural updates for Taiwanese ferns.
About 80 Fern species and ca. 200 Basal Angiosperm and Monocot species described between 2017 and 2020 were added, which were overlooked previously because of delayed addition in IPNI. Fern total goes up to 12.882 (from 12.798).

4.2.2021 Major Update 11.4. Improved search function now available! You can search for countries, names and everything else in combination with families. This enables for example to search for "Lycopodiaceae in Turkey" or similar. This feature had been requested by many users.
Country Checklists can now be generated from a new button in "Country Stats". Those generated country checklists are NOT synonymic but enable to jump from the latin name into the full checklist.
Data for "small countries" Brunei, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Channel Islands were completed (see comments from 23.1.2021).
Sunda-Sahul-Checklist added fully (at least the believable part of the data), which resulted in improved lists and counts for Sulawesi, Borneo, Lesser Sunda Isl., Cambodia, Thailand and Moluccas.
IPNI data added up to Feb 1st, 2021. Some literature added (notable: split of Schefflera (Araliaceae) now complete).
Phylogenetic sequence of Rhamnaceae was updated following new results.
A bug in the search function was removed: clicking names in the results jumps directly to this species (and not to the genus header).
Some bugs in the data removed (thanks to many people who contributed).

23.1.2021 The neglected "small and new" countries/regions in Europe: Data have now been added for Channel Islands, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, which all were not included in the distribution codes in Flora Europaea. Those data will show up in the next update. The only "remnants" in Europe without complete data are San Marino (old flora of Pampanini 1930 not accessible), Moldova, Vatican City and Monaco; also parts of "former Yugoslavia" (Bosnia & Hercegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia) which have incomplete data (checklists have only partially been published for most of them).

11.1.2021 Minor Update 11.3, main reason were several bugfixes. Added some data for Malesia distributions. No new IPNI data. Two families in Boraginales were previously not displayed properly as families. Now the correct family number stands at 525. CountryStats-Table was updated with more literature.

7.1.2021 Several bugfixes. Most important: Statistics in "Country Stats" did not display all lines for a while. Now everything is back to normal. Content in the "Distribution fields" as long as it was in double brackets, did not display, and author abbreviations with "F." were confused with "f." for formae and therefore not displayed properly. Those issues are fixed, too. Still working on other improvements, hopefully coming soon.

4.1.2021The major new update 11.2 is online, including IPNI data up to December 28th, 2020 (unfortunately IPNI is well behind due to Covid etc.). Included are many changes and adaptations in phylogeny, using numerous new publications. Some errors of 11.1 (including a few temporarily missing genera) are fixed. Problems with the "Š" and "š" characters had to be fixed by replacing with simple "S" and "s". Checklists for Cambodia (big improvement), Laos (not so good), Orchid checklist for Myanmar (very good) and the grass checklist of India are included. The inclusion of the new "Sunda-Sahul" checklist (Joyce et al. 2020) has started but this turned out to be extremely difficult - this list is a hodgepodge, artificially assembled conglomerate of several more or less incomplete checklists with many omissions and taxonomic chaos. Nevertheless there are some valuable data in it, they just have to be found.
A very interesting threshold was reached coming from below: 352.000 recognized species which seems to be a reasonably accurate number and is exactly where my estimates within the last years had arrived (some other estimates like Lugadha et al. with 390.000 were clearly too high but based only on projections). About 10.000 remain "unconfirmed", which means only about half of them might be valid, but on the other hand about 1.000-1.500 are still being described every year, and another 500 synonymized every year. So for the next 5 years or so the recognized total should hover between 352.000 and 356.000.

14.12.2020 Search function: We recognize that the search function is sometimes deficient. The two search options "Search" and "Filter" cannot be combined. We received many suggestions that it should be possible to search for "distribution" (countries or regions) together with "family" or "latin name". This will be realized with a new button in "Search" but will need a couple of weeks for inclusion. Also, the "next genus" button in "Filter" does not jump to the next family. We recommend to use the "linear sequence" followed by STRG-F which creates the quickest and most flexible way to jump to a specific position in the phylogenetic sequence (and see the neighboring taxa).

13.12.2020 Inclusion of new checklists: The next major update is in preparation and hopefully completed end of December. Several major checklists are now available: new checklists for Cambodia (Cho et al. 2016) and Laos (Jin et al. 2016), an orchid checklist for Myanmar (Aung et al. 2020) and a grass checklist for India (Kellogg et al. 2020). I have to admit that I had overlooked the Cambodia and Laos lists. Especially Cambodia is very welcome and closes one of the biggest gaps countrywise, with about 40% of species previously missing.

13.12.2020 New Catalogue of Life: The Catalogue of Life has overhauled their complete infrastructure and put the new one live (www.catalogueoflife.org). Congratulations! In the last 12 months their updates were understandably slow, but they are catching up and the October Worldplants data should be live now. The new December 8th update of WorldPlants is being processed and the data will appear before end of the year.

12.12.2020 Bug in World Orchids: Because the family numbers changed, the World Orchids special site did for a while not work (it was referencing to the old family number). This is fixed in the meantime but the Orchid statistics in "country stats" are still showing wrong (too low) numbers. Will hopefully be corrected soon.

11.12.2020 Deep Links: Please keep in mind that stable deep links have the following format (Lycopodium clavatum as example):

Genus: www.worldplants.de?deeplink=Lycopodium

Species: www.worldplants.de?deeplink=Lycopodium-clavatum

Many users (and unfortunately also Wikipedia!) have used the temporary flag numbers occurring during searches in the top line. Those flag numbers are needed for the "backspace"-function. If you copy and use those, they redirect to the main page and are not useful as deep links.

10.12.2020 Cross-references between Flora Germanica and World Plants: Since we have split the former website into two (Flora Germanica [including Rhodos, Alps, Karlsruhe and Pennsylvania] and World Plants) some users were confused. We have added new buttons in the top row to switch between both sites.

8.12.2020 Old Website put to rest: The old website was finally retired and redirect links to the new websites installed (we had kept it alive for 6 months but the dataset in the old website was not updated since early 2020 and is now outdated). A big thank you to the KIT people who helped out. It was a pleasure working with you during the last 15 years. In the beginning the redirects went only to Flora Germanica which confused some users but this is fixed now.

8.12.2020: Major new update 11.1: The new update focuses mostly on phylogenetic sequence. Many references, especially Cole et al. (posters), Johansson (angio.bergianska.se) and numerous new publications were perused to create a new and much improved phylogenetic sequence. Several families were newly recognized, most importantly in Boraginales (following the Boraginales Working Group). The former Euphorbiaceae (so far "s. lat." in Kubitzki-circumscription) were split in four (Phyllanthaceae, Picrodendraceae, Peraceae and Euphorbiaceae s. str.), as practically every new reference does. This results in changed family numbers and a total family count of 525 (some changes still pending and will be included in the late December update).

15.11.2020 Removal of spaces in author names: For further standardization a new filter automatically removes the spaces between first names of authors (for example W.D.J.Koch instead of W. D. J. Koch). We have not yet "caught" all cases which apply, and sometimes there might be inconsistencies - we are still working on it.