The Plant List - the first working list of all known plants
Kew and Missouri Botanical Gardens in the United States are collaborating with partners worldwide to create the first working list of all known plants.
20 Sep 2010
Cypripedium calceolus, the lady's slipper orchid, is one of the species on The Plant List (Image: Wolfgang Stuppy)
The Plant List will be a landmark resource, the importance of which lies in the need for accurate identification and reliable names in all communications about plant life and its uses.
It is particularly significant because Target 1 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC) calls for ‘a working list of all known plant species’ to be made available by 2010.
The Plant List will be formally released by the end of the year. It will also be a fundamental resource for Kew's essential conservation work, which includes a new index to evaluate the danger of extinction to different plant species.
Professor Stephen Hopper (Director, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) said "We are delighted that this collaboration has succeeded in accelerating progress towards this important Target, which is fundamental to planning, implementation and monitoring of plant conservation programmes worldwide. Without accurate names, authoritatively determined, understanding and communication about global plant life would descend into inefficient chaos, costing vast sums of money and literally threatening lives in the case of plants used for food or medicine."
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