Recent Developments and News

Thank you all for your positive feedback in the last months! Many people have intensively used our new website and have found plenty of improvement potential. Here we list some noteworthy developments:

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 and 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 ( 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):



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 ( 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.