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Latin American Plants Initiative

Delivering Kew's unique Latin American collections online

Lectotype collection of Stifftia chrysantha Mikan var. oligantha Baker (= Stifftia fruticosa (Vell.) D. J. N. Hind & Semir) [Compositae]

The Latin American Plants Initiative (LAPI) was an international project focused on digitization of previously unpublished botanical material of relevance to Latin America. This material is widely accessible for scholarly research purposes through the JSTOR Plant Science online resource.

The Latin American Plants Initiative (LAPI) built on the success of the African Plants Initiative (API), and fed into the ongoing Global Plants Initiative (GPI). As with API before it and GPI after it, a primary focus of LAPI was the digital capture of label data and high resolution (600ppi) images of type specimens deposited in participating herbaria. Kew completed the capture of its vascular plant type specimens collected in the Latin American region in early 2010 (c. 70,000 records). These records were quality checked and provided to JSTOR Plant Science for inclusion in the on-line resource which incorporates material digitized by other LAPI partners.

Complementing the type specimens, JSTOR Plant Science also includes plant information in other forms, making it possible to combine searches and access material from currently disparate collections. Kew has received support for digitization of archive materials for this purpose, notably the Director’s Correspondence collection. Archive material already submitted to JSTOR Plant Science includes over 7,400 letters of Latin-America-related material.

For a more detailed account of the materials Kew has made available to JSTOR Plant Science within the framework of LAPI and its sister projects API and GPI, see the Global Plants Initiative

Key publications 2006-2011

  • Nic Lughadha, E. & Miller, C. (2009). Accelerating global access to plant diversity information. Trends Pl. Sci. 14(11): 622 – 628.