Data quality

We are aiming at a completely standardised treatment, where all names and bibliographic citations have been checked with their original sources. As our data are collected from many heterogeneous sources, not all of them have been critically evaluated, nor are they all standardised yet. We are continuously working on improvement of data quality, checking all names and presenting them according to the standards outlined below.


Accepted taxa

Currently, taxa at the following ranks are accepted: tribe, subtribe, genus, section, species and subspecies. The system is, however, open to accept additional ranks.



The database is aiming at a complete registration of all synonyms above and including the rank variety as well as unranked names. Names below the rank of variety are only included if they constitute basionyms of other names. In the case of accepted subspecies, homotypic synonyms of the species are attributed to the species name, not to the nominal subspecies. Heterotypic synonyms which cannot be assigned undoubtedly to one of the subspecies are placed within the synonymy of the species.


Invalid designations

Names which have not been validly published, and thus are no proper names in the sense of the Code, are compiled only if they have been misinterpreted as valid names (e.g. treated as such by IPNI) and have led to confusion. This refers, e.g., to nomina nuda and names from opera utique oppressa (App. VI of the Code). Such designations are listed at the end of the synonymies and are preceded by an n-dash instead of an equal sign.


Authors of scientific plant names

Authors of scientific plant names are abbreviated in conformity with Brummitt R. K. & Powell C. E. 1992: Authors of plant names (updated online version). We use spaces between first name initials and between first name initials and last names. If there are more than two authors, only the first one is given, followed by "& al." If the authors of the name are different from the authors of the work in which the name was published, the latter are part of the bibliographic citation and are not abbreviated, e.g.: Andryala incana DC. in Lamarck & Candolle, Fl. Franç., ed. 3, 5: 445. 1815. Again, if there are more than two authors of the publication, only the first one is given, followed by "& al." The citation of "'ex' authors", although nomenclaturally not necessary, is deemed useful and continuously added.


Bibliographic citation of taxon names

Titles of monographs
Titles of monographs are separated from the author citation by a comma and abbreviated in conformity with "Taxonomic literature, ed. 2" [Stafleu F. A. & Cowan R. S. & successors; volumes 1-8: 1976-1988; supplements 1-8: 1992-2008], but all components start with capital letters. Titles of monographs not listed in "Taxonomic literature" follow the version used in IPNI. Titles not mentioned in any of these sources are abbreviated as in serials (see following point).

Titles of serials
Titles of serials are separated from the author citation by "in" and abbreviated in conformity with Bridson G. D. R., Townsend S. T., Polen E. A. & Smith E. R. 2004: BPH-2. Periodicals with botanical content 1-2. Pittsburgh (online edition). Titles of serials not listed are abbreviated according to the abbreviation standards there defined.

Volume and fascicle numbers
Volume numbers of monographs are given only if volumes have separate pagination. The same applies to fascicles of serial volumes.

Publication year
The publication year always refers to the actual year of publication of the page cited. If a work has been published in parts and its publication dates have been established, the publication year is thus the one of the corresponding part and can then also differ from the year(s) on the (main) title page of that work.


Data on nomenclatural types of names

Data on types and their citation are gathered from different sources, depending on data availability and processing state: (1) from the protologues, (2) from secondary literature, (3) from the type specimen labels. Type citation is therefore somewhat heterogenous. It is planned to link the cited type specimens to digitised type specimen images as far as available.

Types are classified as holo-, syn-, neo-, lectotypes, etc., and their duplicates as iso-, isosyn-, isoneo- or isolectotypes, etc. When no such specification is possible yet, they are simply indicated as "type".

Type citations are moderately standardised, often abbreviated, and its components are cited in the sequence "country", "locality", "collecting date", "collector", "collection number", "herbarium code", "accession number/barcode". If a country name in the specimen data gathered are not identical to the currently official one, it is replaced by the latter according to ISO 3166-1. Unknown collectors are given as "coll. ignotus". Abbreviations of exsiccata follow the collector's name preceded by a semicolon and are in conformity with IndExs – Index of Exsiccatae. Not yet existing abbreviations are created in conformity with this list and with BPH-2. Herbarium codes follow Index Herbariorum. In unresolved cases, the original data on herbaria are mentioned; private collections are cited as "herb. [name]". The herbarium's accession number or barcode of the specimen, if available, follows the herbarium code preceded by a blank.


Distribution data

Occurrence data
Distributional data of a taxon are displayed in two ways: (1) in the tab "General" of a taxon page with a TDWG unit based distribution map, (2) in the tab "Specimens" with a dot distribution map as far as georeferenced specimen data revised by specialists have been incorporated. While the rough TDWG unit based distribution maps are intended to give the currently known distribution of a taxon, the available dot distribution maps must be considered as only successively growing fragmentary sources. Occurrence data for taxa are aggregated upwardly in the taxonomic hierarchy: occurrence data entered, e.g. for a species, are aggregated to display the distribution range of the entire genus, the entire subtribe, etc. in the distribution maps. The associated textual data (distribution units, references) are displayed only for the taxon to which they were entered.

Status of occurrence
Currently, information on the staus of occurrence in the in the TDWG unit based distribution maps are somewhat heterogenous. Regarding the Euro-Mediterranean region, we adopted, for the time being, the classification of the Euro+Med PlantBase which accepts no less than 9 categories. On the longer run and outside that region only the following categories are applied:
• native = indigenous taxon or archaeophyte, i.e. introduced before the year 1500
• introduced = neophyte introduced after 1500, incl. casuals and established aliens
• doubtfully native = unclear whether native or introduced
• reported in error = definitely absent but reported to occur
• doubtfully present = occurrence doubtful and to be clarified.
The references cited in the Portal for a taxon in a certain area substantiates that report, whereas the status of occurrence categories applied are in principal interpretations by the Editors and can thus deviate from status designations, if any, made by the authors of the cited sources. Taxa cultivated only are not recorded.


Common names

The common name entries have the following structure: language name (in bold) according to the code tables of ISO 639, followed (in brackets and normal type) by the geographic region where the name is used, and, after a colon, by the common name(s).


Abbreviations and symbols

Art. Article of the "International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi, and Plants"
f. forma/form
nom. cons. nomen conservandum
nom. illeg. nomen illegitimum
nom. inval. nomen invalidum
nom. nud. nomen nudum
nom. provis. nomen provisorium
sect. section
ser. series
subsect. subsection
subsp. subspecies
var. varietas/variety
= heterotypic synonym
homotypic synonym
misapplied names & invalid designations
click for viewing the protologue
coll. ignotus collector unknown