Aerial view of tropical forest (Image: William Milliken)

Plants of the World Online

The Plants of the World Online (POWO) portal is an online global resource for plant knowledge.

Project information

Output Leader: Abigail Barker

Funded by: Michel and Hélène David-Weill 


Search the portal: Plants of the World Online


Information on all the world’s plants at your fingertips

Our vision for digital dissemination of information is to lead the delivery of an online global resource for plants: the Plants of the World Online (POWO) portal. This e-resource will be a single point of access for authoritative information on plant species, from anywhere in the world. It will provide a multi-dimensional catalogue of plant life, including information on identification, distribution, traits, threat status, molecular phylogenies and uses. It will use Kew’s extensive data resources alongside images from the digitisation of the collections.

This one-stop portal will enable dissemination of plant information at levels accessible to all. The UK flora is extremely well known, and POWO will consolidate the wealth of information on UK species in a dedicated UK portal, making it an invaluable resource for taxonomy, policy, conservation, management, sustainable agriculture and teaching. In addition, we will start to build a similar online repository for UK fungal collections and will provide the knowledge and support for partners in other countries to set up their own portals, which can be linked through to Kew.

This will ultimately lead to a resource that has global coverage, linking directly through to the taxonomic framework provided by the World Flora Online (www.worldfloraonline.org), which aims to provide an online taxonomic resource for all known plants.