Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

World Checklist and Bibliography of Rubiaceae

Providing baseline diversity (taxonomic data) for Rubiaceae, the fourth largest plant family, and a key component of tropical ecosystems.

The aim of World Checklist and Bibliography of Rubiaceae project is to produce and maintain a high quality, scientifically rigorous global taxonomic checklist and bibliography for Rubiaceae. The project is organized within a framework international collaboration. Dissemination of the checklist is via the Internet and, with the bibliography, in book form. The checklist part comprises a complete species checklist for Rubiaceae, including some 620 genera, and c. 13,100 accepted species names with their synonyms: c. 35,000 names in total. All published Rubiaceae species will be accounted for, i.e. the checklist will be global and fully inclusive. The checklist reflects a consensus among Rubiaceae and regional specialists, based on published information.

The checklist database includes the following data fields: scientific name (family, genus, species, infraspecific epithet; in separate fields); full bibliographic reference (including journal, vol., pages, and year of publication); synonyms (also with bibliographic references); status (accepted, synonym, basionym); common names (where available, with references); latest taxonomic scrutiny (verification); source database, and comment field; distribution by country and TDWG code. The database is based on a query from the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), with the addition of data and updates from published work, including taxonomic revisions, systematic analyses, monographs, floras and checklists.

The bibliography covers the main relevant taxonomic and systematic literature for Rubiaceae, from 1753 to the present day. Each entry provides the full bibliographical details of each publication, including an abstract.

The World Checklist and Bibliography of Rubiaceae project is fully integrated with the science and curation activities of the Rubiaceae Team.

Project partners and collaborators


National Botanic Garden of Belgium, Meise: Prof. Elmar Robbrecht; Dr Piet Stoffelen; Dr Petra De Block
Laboratory of Plant Systematics, Institute of Botany and Microbiology, K.U. Leuven. Dr Stephen Dessein


Botanical Garden São Paulo, State of São Paulo: Cristina Bestetti Costa


Université de Yaoundé I.: Prof. Bonaventure Sonké


Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza, Antananarivo (PBZT): Andriambololonera, S.


Centro de Botanica, Lisboa: Dr Estrela Figueiredo


Main Botanical Garden, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow: Dr Ivan Schanzer


The Bergius Foundation, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm: Prof. Birgitta Bremer; Dr Sylvain Razafimandimbison


Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri: Dr Charlotte Taylor

Project funders

Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
Electronic Catalogue of Names of Known Organisms (ECAT), Copenhagen

Annex material

Key papers published since 2006: 

1. Davis, A.P. & Figueiredo, E. (2007). A checklist of the Rubiaceae (coffee family) of Bioko and Annobon (Equatorial Guinea, Gulf of Guinea). Systematics and Biodiversity 5 (2): 159-186.
2. Davis, A.P., Govaerts, R. & Bridson, D.M. (2007). New combinations in Madagascan Vanguerieae (Rubiaceae) for the genera Psydrax, Pyrostria and Rytigynia. Blumea 52 (1): 139-145.
3. Ruhsam, M., Govaerts, R. & Davis, A.P. (2008). Nomenclatural changes in preparation for a World Rubiaceae Checklist. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 157: 115-124.
4. Davis, A.P., Govaerts, R., Bridson, D.M., Ruhsam, M., Moat, J. & Brummitt, N.A. (2009). A global assessment of distribution, diversity, endemism, and taxonomic effort in the Rubiaceae. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 96: 68-78.
5. Govaerts, R., Ruhsam, M., Andersson, L., Robbrecht, E., Bridson, D.M., Davis, A.P., Schanzer, I. & Sonké, B. (2011). World Checklist of Rubiaceae. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Available online

Total number of papers published since 2006: 16