Plant Nomenclature and Taxonomy - Links of Interest

Reference Resources

International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) St Louis version (2000). Full text available online.

International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP). 7th Edition (2002) Available for purchase at

International Plant Names Index (IPNI). For searching valid publication of plant names using the data from RBG Kew, Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium

Index Nominum Genericorum (ING). For details of all validly published botanical generic names, including details of typification when available.

Names in Current Use for Extant Plant Genera (NCU-3). For checking current spelling and gender of generic names, also has information on typification.

Cultivar Checklists for Ornamental Plants. Maintained by Art Tucker (University of Delaware). For checklists and registers for cultivars.

International Cultivar Registration Authorities. For locating the various ICRAs and other general information about cultivar names.

Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). USDA's Agricultural Research Service web server provides germplasm information about plants.

Plants Database. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Kew Bibliographic Databases. Recently combined for simultaneous searching.
o The Kew Record: over 200,000 publications published since 1971 relating to the taxonomy of plants.
o Plant Micro-morphology Bibliographic Database: 90,000 references to publications.
o Economic Botany Bibliographic Database: 33,000 references relating to uses of plants.

Databases and Electronic Floras at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Flora of North America. Available online: Volumes 1-5, 22-23, 26.

List of Names of Woody Plants and Perennials. (2005) A European collaboration attempting to stabilize plant nomenclature by publishing lists of current plant names used by the nursery industry (updated every 5 years).

Horticultural Taxonomy Group (HORTAX). A UK organization devoted to cultivated plant nomenclature. Recently added an excellent primer entitled: The Names of Garden Plants - a brief outline of how cultivated plants are named

Websites useful for taxonomic and nomenclatural verification, please visit the On-line Resource Center located under Member Resources, Resource Center or here

Links to Papers & Articles of Interest

Trademarks are not names. Piers Trehane. 2001. A very good review of nomenclature problems associated with trademarks.

Judge orders cancellation of Scarlet trademark. Geraldine Warner. 2006. An interesting legal verdict with implications for horticultural nomenclature.

A Nomenclatural Morass: The Naming of Lewis's "Fir No. 5" (Pseudotsuga menziesii): an impressive case study by Dr. James Reveal on how the botanical code works, using humor and good science.

Clarifying the generic concepts of Aster sensu lato in New England. Arthur Haines. 2001.

Proposal to conserve the name Xanthocyparis against Callitropsis Oerst. (Cupressaceae). 2006. Mill and Farjon. The latest (for now) in an ongoing nomenclatural puzzle.

Upcoming changes in flowering plant family names: Those pesky taxonomists are at it again! 2002. Ellen Dean. This is a good general commentary on the current state of plant name changes and the underlying issues.