• Bibliographical index to North American botany, pt. I Polypetalae (Sereno Watson). Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1878 (Z5358.N86 W3 1878). Citations, references and chronological synonymy for native and naturalized plants in North America.
  • Guide to the plant species descriptions published in seed lists from botanic gardens for the period 1800 – 1900 [Nationaal Herbarium Nederland]
  • Index Kewensis (IK), later Kew Index [Oxford: Clarendon, 1895- (QK11 .I42 Reference)] is maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Its aim was to register all formal botanical names for seed plants at the rank of species and genus. Later, it also started to include names of families and of taxa below the rank of species. It was started in 1895, with regular supplements issued on newly published names. A digitalized version of the IK has been integrated in IPNI, so that it can be consulted online: its entries are recognizable by the letters “(IK)”.
  • Index nominum genericorum (ING) (QK97 .R4) is compilation of generic names published for organisms covered by the International code of botanical nomenclature.
  • Index nominum supragenericorum plantarum vascularium The purpose of the project is to capture all valid and legitimate extant vascular plants names, as defined by the International code of botanical nomenclature, proposed above the rank of genus.
  • Integrated taxonomic information system (ITIS)
  • International Organization of Plant Information includes:
    • Database of plant databases is a global list of plant databases, to tell you who is putting together what data and where. The DPD contains virtually no plant data as such, but serves to put you in contact with the projects that do. Most, but not all, entries concern databases about higher plants. Roughly speaking, there are three kinds of databases:
      • Taxonomic databases, with systematic information on families or genera, or for Flora projects.
      • Collection catalogues, usually of herbaria.
      • DELTA datasets. DELTA is the Description Language for Taxonomy, a data format for character data, used for identification, key construction and the generation of descriptions.
    • Global plant checklist project encompasses about 300,000 vascular plant species and over 1,000,000 names. Eventually, the Checklist will also include non-vascular plants (mosses, lichens, algae, and liverworts).
    • Species plantarum project is a longer term project aiming to record essential taxonomic information on vascular plants on a world basis. It may be likened to a world flora. It is expected that it will include accepted names and synonyms with places of publication and types, short descriptions of all taxa from family to infraspecific rank, keys, distributions, references to literature comments, etc.
  • International plant names index (IPNI) is a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of seed plants, ferns and fern allies. Its goal is to eliminate the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names. Look for the author of a combination, find the paper, often one or more taxa and keys and references to other species and keys. Author of a new name usually gives references to earlier literature.
  • Plants database (USDA) provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.
  • Plants identification keys (USDA) U.S. plants
  • Proposals and disposals (conserved and rejected plant names) is an index to the names proposed for conservation or rejection, now published in Taxon, since the first proposals in 1892. The record for each name provides the citation for the relevant publications and indicates the final disposition of the proposal.
  • Taxonomy of vascular plants (George H.M. Lawrence). N.Y., Macmillan, 1951 (QK93 .L38 1951). Keys to orders of vascular plants; descriptions and literature on most plant families, Engler and Prantl refs., Chapter 14: Literature of taxonomic botany. Herbarium practices, regional floras, bibliographies, etc.
  • World checklist of selected plant families (Kew) gives information on the accepted scientific names and synonyms of selected plant families. It allows you to search for all the scientific names of a particular plant, or the areas of the world in which it grows (distribution).

Illustrations and Images

  • Flowering plant index of illustration and information (compiled by Richard T. Isaacson), Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979, 1982 (QK11 .I8 Reference).
  • Index Londinensis, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929-31 and later supplements (QK11 .P95 Reference). Illustrations of flowering plants, ferns, and fernallies, by genus, species, publication place.

Plant Resources

  • A dictionary of the flowering plants and ferns, 8th ed. (Shaw, Herbert Kenneth Airy). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1973 (QK11 .W53 1973). First published under the title: A manual and dictionary of the flowering plants and ferns, by J.C. Willis in 1897.
  • Index to plant chromosome numbers is an index of original plant chromosome numbers of naturally occurring and cultivated plants published throughout the world. Prior to that date use: Chromosome atlas of flowering plants (C.D. Darlington & A. P. Wylie) 2nd edition, London: Allen & Unwin, 1955 (QK725.D18 1955), print Index to plant chromosome numbers, 1956-79 (Cave, Ornduff, and Moore) QK725 C66.
  • Mabberley’s plant-book: a portable dictionary of plants, their classifications and uses (David J. Mabberley). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008 (QK11 .M29 2008). Utilizing Kubitzki's The families and genera of vascular plants (1990- ) and current botanical literature; arranged according to the principles of molecular systematics.
  • National plant germplasm system [GRIN = Germplasm Resources Information Network] is a cooperative effort by public (state and federal) and private organizations to preserve the genetic diversity of plants by documenting crop germplasm information.
  • Plant information online is a directory of plants available from North American nurseries, citations to plants in science and garden literature, links to selected websites for images and regional information about plants, and information on North American seed and nursery firms
  • TROPICOS includes all of the nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data in Missouri Botanical Garden’s electronic databases with over one million scientific names, 3.4 million specimen records, 111,000 bibliographic citations, and more than 70,000 images of living plants and specimens.

Systematic/Monographic Treatments

Helpful hints:

In IPNI look for author of a combination, find the paper, often one or more taxa and keys and references to other species and keys. Author of a new name usually gives references to earlier literature.

Munz, P.A. 1959--usually cited a systematic treatment he used at the end of the description of each genus in the flora.

Review herbarium specimen annotations; annotators usually publish a paper or thesis or dissertation on the taxa they annotate and often indicate universities and potential topic titles on the annotation slips.

Contrib. U.S. National Herbarium, etc. look for citation of specimens.

Authors of Jepson Manual revision or Flora of North America: North of Mexico treatments often have larger treatments in hand and are recognized experts in the group.

  • Index to botanical monographs: a guide to monographs and taxonomic papers relating to phanerogams and vascular cryptogams found growing wild in the British Isles (Douglas H. Kent). London: Academic Press, 1967 (Z5358 .G7 K4 1967 Reference).