Useful Links for Neotropical Flowering Plant Identification

This page is no longer being updated (December 2012). Please access the new updated version HERE.

Thank you!



Angiosperm Phylogeny Website

      A continuously updated reference on the current classification of flowering plant families, in accordance with the APGIII System. Maintained by Peter Stevens, Missouri Botanical Garden. Includes full bibliography, discussion, maps.

The Families of Flowering Plants (Watson & Dallwitz, 1992+)

      Useful reference for flowering plant family descriptions, following a pre-APG classification. An electronic key is also available.

Tree of Life

      Website illustrating the tree of relationships joining all groups of organisms. Some plant families have well-developed pages with photos, some not.


Tropical Plant Field Guides

      A wide assortment of downloadable color field guides, Dept. of Environment Culture and Conservation, Field Museum of Natural History

Neotropical Live Plant Photos (ECCo, Field Museum of Natural History)

Neotropical Plants Image Database (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew)

Neotropikey (Royal Botanic Gardens Kew)

      Interactive flowering plant family key, plus excellent synopses and genus lists for most neotropical flowering plant families. At last check (Dec 2010) not all families were covered, and some reflect older classifications (APG2 instead of APG3).

University of Hawaii Tropical Flowering Plant Family Images

Plants of Hawaii by Forest & Kim Starr

       Cornell University and New York Botanical Garden. Searchable images, cladograms and keys

Glossary of Terms for Vascular Plants (New York Botanical Garden, S.Mori and N. Smith)



International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, & plants (ICN) (Melbourne Code, 2012)

International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Vienna Code, 2006; superceded by Melbourne Code, but contains full Appendices)

      The legal code governing legitimate publication of a name or determination of the correct usage of a name.

International Plant Names Index (IPNI)

      The authoritative bibliographic source for all published names of Seed Plants, Ferns, and Lycophytes.

The Plant List, Kew

      This list aims to provide a complete account of scientifically accepted names and synonymy of vascular plants and bryophytes worldwide. It combines data from TROPICOS, IPNI and the Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, but otherwise does not cite references.

TROPICOS, Missouri Botanical Garden

      Nomenclature database incomplete, focusing on areas of MO's active flora projects; however all synonymies are linked to literature references, which is tremendously useful! Caveat: For references which place a name in synonymy see tab "Accepted Names." For references which accept the name, see tab "References."

Concordance of Angiosperm Family Names

      Searchable index of flowering plant families, according to their treatment in several recent classification systems. By James Reveal / USDA.


Kew Bibliographic Database

     Literature on plant taxonomy (1971-2007 only). Since 2007 only references on micromorphology and economic botany are updated.

Index to American Botanical Literature

      Botanical literature index pertaining to plants and fungi of the Western Hemisphere (published late 1995 onward).

TROPICOS Literature Database

      Extensive but eclectic in coverage.

Biodiversity Heritage Library

     Contains older scanned literature, as well as some fairly recent journals. A steadily growing archive.

Hathi Trust Digital Library

      A huge online repository of archives and scholarly literature. Rapid search for text within articles. Fabulous.

Springer Images

       Open access to illustrations of new species (and other figures) in articles from Springer publications.


Index Herbariorum

      An index to all herbaria worldwide, including websites, staff, and staff research specialties. Hosted by New York Botanical Garden

JSTOR Plant Science

     An archive of multiple information sources. Many type specimen photos from participating herbaria.

HUH Databases

     (1) an index of plant collectors and plant name authors, worldwide. (2) an index of Botanical Publications. From Harvard University Herbaria.

Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project

      A project to verify the identity of all the plants described by Linnaeus (British Museum)

IABIN (Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network; Red Interamericana de Información sobre Biodiversidad)

Sociedade Botânico do Brasil

      Useful links for Brazilian botany

"CAVEAT: IPNI, JSTOR Plant Science, TROPICOS and their ilk, were compiled by mortals, not the deity. . . . . these websites are starting points, not truths handed down from heaven." -- Christiane Anderson, in Guidelines for Preparing a Botanical Monograph.



HERBARIUM CONSORTIA                                                                                                               back to top

Brazilian Natural History Collections "speciesLink"

INCT - Herbário Virtual da Flora e dos Fungos (Brasil)

     Associated with "speciesLink," but including only plant and fungus collections of Brazil. Includes links to specimen images from participating herbaria. New in Sept 2011 and growing.

GBIF Data Portal -- Global Biodiversity Information Facility

     Collection data searchable by species and country, from various contributing herbaria. Mapping by Google Earth.

JSTOR herbaria

     Worldwide archive of type specimen images only, from several of the herbaria listed below.

CONABIO (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad - MEXICO)

     Collective archive of specimen images from Mexico, from many cooperating herbaria

SEINET (Southwest Environmental Information Network)

     Specimen data and images from numerous herbaria of Southwestern USA and Mexico. Quick loading and easy to use.

TROPICOS (Missouri Botanical Garden)

     Massive resources, including all specimens from MO; specimens from many cooperating herbaria; images; literature references.


AAU (Aarhus)

B (Berlin)

BM (British Museum)

BR (Brussels)

     Many types from the Flora Brasiliensis

C (Copenhagen)

E (Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh)

     A beautifully designed website

G (Geneve)

GB (Univ. Gothenburg, Sweden)

GOET (Goettingen, Germany)

GZU-HAL-JE-W-WU (Graz, Halle, Jena, Vienna)

K (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

L-U-WAG  (Leiden-Utrecht-Wageningen, The Netherlands)

M (Botanische Staatssammlung München - Munich)

     Link to digitization info only; vascular plant scans are on JSTOR

MPU (Montpellier Université, France)

OXF (Oxford University Herbaria)

P  (Paris)

P-Lamarck  (Paris, Lamarck Herbarium)

S (Stockholm)

Swiss Orchid Foundation, Basel

Z (Zürich)


BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas)

     Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program, much material from SE Peru

FLAS (Univ. of Florida, Gainesville)

F (Field Museum, Botany Dept., Chicago)

     Featuring types; pre-war Berlin photos; flora of Lomas of Peru & Chile; flora of Veracruz, Mexico

F (Field Museum, Neotropical Herbarium Specimens reference collection, ECCo)

      A set of images representing a broad range of neotropical taxa; designed to expedite identification for non-taxonomic specialists. Covers all of the Neotropics, with strengths in Southern Central America, the Andes, and the eastern base of the Andes

FTG (Fairchild Tropical Garden)

HUH (Harvard)

MICH  (University of Michigan)

MO (Missouri Botanical Garden)

NA (US National Arboretum types, USDA)

NY (New York Botanical Garden)

      In addition to types, includes all specimen records from Central and Northeastern Brazil, many imaged.

TEX (University of Texas)

UC (University of California-Berkeley)

US (Smithsonian Institution)

       List of plant groups which have been databased at US


Costa Rica

INBio  (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, Costa Rica)

JBL (Jardín Botánico Lankester)


STRI  (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panamá)


INCT - Herbário Virtual da Flora e dos Fungos (Brasil)

     Associated with "speciesLink," but including only plant and fungus collections of Brazil. Includes links to specimen images from many participating herbaria worldwide. New in Sept 2011 and growing.

IAC (Instituto Agronômico de Campinas, São Paulo)

SP (Instituto de Botânico, São Paulo)

UB (Universidade de Brasília)

UNICAMP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo)


COAH (Herbário Amazonico Colombiano, Inst. Amaz. de Investigaciones Cientificas SINCHI, Bogotá)

COL (Herbario Nacional Colombiano)

MEDEL (Univ. Nacional de Colombia, Medellín)

UDBC (Universidad Distrital, Santa Fe de Bogotá)

French Guiana

CAY (Herbier de Guyane; Cayenne, French Guiana)



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      Database of Vascular Plant Species Associated with Neotropical Wetlands. Based on research of Nur Ritter.

International Bulb Society

      Mostly horticultural interest, but with a large image database searchable by scientific name

International Carnivorous Plant Society

      Includes Carnivorous Plant Names Database

The Parasitic Plant Connection

       By Dan Nickrent, Southern Illinois University. Especially helpful for the recently revised taxonomy of the Santalales.

Bihrmann's Caudex

       Private website on caudiciform plants - plants with swollen water-storing stems. Horticultural emphasis.

FDA Poisonous Plants Database (bibliographic citations) & Poisonous Vascular Plants list (compiled from literature 1994-1996)

ANACARDIACEAE: Anacardiaceae and Burseraceae (BKL, NY)

APIACEAE: Umbellifer Resource Center (Kew)

APOCYNACEAE: Asclepiadoideae, Secamonoideae, & Periplocoideae (Liede & Meve, Univ. Bayreuth)


ARECACEAE: Palm Base Portal (Aarhus, Denmark)

ASTERACEAE: Espeletia Project (M. Diazgranados, MO)

BERBERIDACEAE: Berberis Checklist (C. Ulloa, MO)

BURSERACEAE: Anacardiaceae and Burseraceae (BKL, NY)

CLUSIACEAE: see Online Identification Keys (V. Bittrich et al., UEC) for keys to Clusiaceae genera and Clusia spp in Brasil

CONVOLVULACEAE: Nomenclator Ipomoeeae (D. Austin); Convolvulaceae Unlimited (ed. G. Staples)

CUCURBITACEAE: Cucurbit Network (T.Andres)

DIOSCOREACEAE: eMonocot Dioscoreaceae (Editor unspecified)

ERIOCAULACEAE: Eriocaulaceae of the Andes (A. Diaz, TEX)

ERYTHROXYLACEAE: Erythroxylum (Field Museum)

EUPHORBIACEAE: Acalypha (J.M.Cardiel), Croton Research Network (hosted by WIS); Euphorbia PBI (P.Berry et al.); Neotropical Euphorbiaceae image gallery (Kew)

FABACEAE: Acacia & allied genera (Joe Miller, Univ. Iowa); The Swartzia Pages (B. Torke & V.F. Mansano, NYBG); Leguminosae do Brasil (images of selected species, Rubens Queiroz)

GENTIANACEAE: Gentian Research Network (Rutgers)

GERANIACEAE: Geranium Taxonomic Information System (C. Aedo)

GESNERIACEAE: World Checklist of Gesneriaceae (Smithsonian)

LAURACEAE: International Lauraceae Working Group (edited by Jens Rohwer)

LECYTHIDACEAE: Lecythidaceae Pages (New York Botanical Garden)

LOASACEAE: The Loasaceae Page (Max Weigend)

MALPIGHIACEAE: Malpighiaceae (Univ. of Michigan)

MALVACEAE: Malvaceae_Info (Stewart Hinsley)

MELASTOMATACEAE: Melastomataceae of the World (D.Penneys, U.Fla.)

MYRTACEAE: Cooperative Taxonomic Resource for American Myrtaceae (ed. L. Landrum, ASU)

ONAGRACEAE: Onagraceae Research (Smithsonian)

ORCHIDACEAE: Epidendra: The Global Orchid Taxonomic Network (Jardín Botánico Lankester & Univ.Nac. de Costa Rica)

OROBANCHACEAE: Agalinis Checklist (Orobanchaceae) (K.Barringer)

PIPERACEAE: Peperomia.Net (G.Mathieu, Belgium)

POACEAE: Catalogue of New World Grasses (searchable, Missouri Botanical Garden)

SAPOTACEAE: Sapotaceae Resource Center (Kew)

SOLANACEAE: Solanaceae Source (British Museum); Solanaceae of Brazil; Jaltomata (Thomas Mione)

ZINGIBERACEAE: Zingiberaceae Resource Center (Kew)

ZINGIBERALES: Zingiberales Research (Smithsonian)



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Flora of North America


Flora de Cuba

Flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Smithsonian)

Flora of the West Indies (Smithsonian)

Plants of the Eastern Caribbean (Univ. of the West Indies)

Virtual Field Herbarium - Grenada (Oxford, UK)

Plants and Lichens of Saba, Netherlands Antilles (NYBG)


FLORA MESOAMERICANA (Missouri Botanical Garden)

Arboles Tropicales Comunes del Area Maya (Univ. Calif.-Riverside)


Ethnobotany and Floristics of Belize (New York Botanical Garden)


La Florula Digital de la Selva

INBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad)

Vascular Plants of the Osa Peninsula (NYBG)

Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica (MO)


Atlas de la Flora de Veracruz (text download)

Flora: Peninsula de Yucatán (CICY)

Flora of Kaxil Kiuic, Yucatán

Malezas de Mexico



Flora Argentina

Museo Virtual de la Biodiversidad de la Provincia de Misiones


Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares de Bolivia

Flora de la Región del Parque Nacional Amboró


Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil (REFLORA)

Chave interativa para identificação dos gêneros de fanerógamas da Reserva Ducke

Estado de São Paulo, various interactive keys linked here

Flora digital do Rio Grande do Sul


Flora de Chilena Nativa en su Habitat (Alain de Trenqualye Howard)

Chilebosque: Flora Nativa de Chile


Plantas de Colombia (private blog)


Fungal and Plant Diversity of Central and French Guiana

Rice Field Plants of French Guiana

GUIANAS (Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana)

Virtual Tree Guide of the Guianas


Climbers of Guyana


Flora del Paraguay


Plants of Manu National Park

Digital Flora of Ucayali

Flora de la Reserva Nacional Pacaya-Samiria


Fotografias de la flora autóctona del Uruguay


Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants

Flora of the Hawaiian Islands

West African Plants Photo Guide



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Costa Rica - Gazetteer of Plant Collecting Locales

Andes - Mecanismo de Información de Páramos -- includes links to detailed maps for locating paramo collection sites

       also see MO's Gazetteer of Paramo Localities

Ornithological Gazetteers of the Neotropics

       Search at this internet archive for "Ornithological Gazetteer", Media Type = text. Excellent reference for older place names for natural history collections. Full-text formats are easily searchable online or downloadable.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection - University of Texas

       Simple downloadable country maps for quick reference, plus useful links.


      This website, based on the book Administrative Subdivisions of Countries, by Gwillim Law, documents the names of all administrative divisions (states, provinces, etc.) of countries, worldwide. It is continuously updated by the author, and contains a wealth of historical information.

Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System

      Climate diagrams based on data from weather stations worldwide. From S. Rivas-Martinez, Univ. Compl. Madrid.