Botanical Illustration of a peony.

All the World’s Plants to Find a Digital Home Online

Botanical Illustration of a peony.
Leading botanical gardens are banding together to create a “full inventory of plant life.”

Four of the world’s top botanical gardens have signed a memorandum of understanding that solidifies their plans to develop World Flora, the first complete online catalog of the world’s plants, by the year 2020.

The participating institutions are The New York Botanical Garden; the Missouri Botanical Garden; The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

In a shared announcement, the project’s leaders state that World Flora will help meet the need for a baseline survey of the world’s plants, and they shared their hope that its creation may help to halt the continuing loss of plant biodiversity due to extinction worldwide.

Thanks to advances in our botanical knowledge and in digital technology, an online World Flora is within our grasp. It is imperative that we create this resource, which will help us assess the value of all plant species to humankind and be effective stewards to ensure their survival.”

—Gregory Long, Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden

World Flora will build upon an earlier online work, The Plant List, developed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. The Plant List contains accepted names and synonyms for all known plant species.

World Flora is intended to be much more detailed and will also contain descriptions, images, and distribution information for every known plant.

Learn more at

The New York Botanical Garden:

Missouri Botanical Garden:

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh:

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.


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