Flora Mesoamericana

The first major regional flora ever written in Spanish, Flora Mesoamericana is a collaborative effort of the Missouri Botanical Garden the Instituto de Biología of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Natural History Museum, London, and numerous specialists world-wide. In Spanish, the Flora describes, for the first time, all the vascular plants growing in the southeasternmost states of Mexico (including the Yucatán Peninsula) and all the Central American republics. The project publishes its results in this Internet version (W3FM), as well as in printed volumes. W3FM first appeared on the Internet in 1994 from the Natural History Museum server. It is currently being made available from a Missouri Botanical Garden server and was converted to a real-time version during October 1997. UNAM published the first printed volume, Volume 6: Alismataceae a Cyperaceae in March 1994, and Volume 1: Psilotaceae a Salviniaceae was published in November 1995. Books are available through the Missouri Botanical Garden 's Scientific Publications department, and for Mexico, from the Instituto de Biología (UNAM).


The Internet version of Flora Mesoamericana (W3FM) is organized in a checklist format in which each botanical name has its own page that is linked to other pages. The checklist is designed to give users a broad overview of the Mesoamerican flora and allow them to easily navigate and browse the Flora. You may search the Flora for any scientific name or you may choose one from eight different indices. Each page is assembled on demand from data in the Flora Mesoamericana production database as a query is made by the user, and each web page thus represents the latest up-to-date information. Links are provided to images, descriptions, identification keys, voucher specimens, maps, other names (synonymy), and taxon-to-taxon links to alternate taxonomic treatments. Any part of W3FM may be updated at anytime as new and more up-to-date information become available. We appreciate being notified about errors and will make every effort to correct these as soon as possible.

The Checklist (Lista Anotada) usually contains full data on place of publication and typification, synonymy as established by Flora Mesoamericana contributors, and, for accepted names, representative specimen citations selected at random from the specimen database. This thus gives the user a quick view of the status of any name in Mesoamerica

For a list of all accepted taxa, see the index for accepted taxa (taxa aceptados). This list includes provisionally accepted taxa that are believed to occur in Mesoamerica, but which have not yet been treated by Flora Mesoamericana contributors. This list will be completed for all families during 1998. It will provide an up-to-date account of the nearly 17,000 species believed to occur in Mesoamerica. Frequent updates will be made, especially as our contributors finalize their accounts.


Images of accepted species (taxa with illustrations) are still few, but more will be added as time and resources allow. We hope to eventually provide at least one image for each accepted species, and our ultimate goal is to have each image vouchered with a herbarium specimen. We greatly welcome the donations of such images or permission to use or build links to published images. All such contributions will be fully credited.


Descriptions are intended to be parallel and, therefore, easy to compare. As a convenience to the user, in addition to the description per se, we include the full text of the taxon treatment as it will eventually appear in the printed volumes. Please note that for volumes already printed, updates may have been made; in other words, the W3FM descriptions are not necessarily the same as those in the printed volumes.