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WFO's June 2023 release

Data Updates

The last six months has seen a substantial improvement in data quality in the taxonomic backbone of the World Flora Online thanks to the input from the plant Taxonomic community. These changes are reflected in the June 2023 WFO Plant List and data release, that is now available.

Summary of changes to the Taxonomic Backbone since the December 2022 release. 

  • 20,715 additional names have been added to the WFO provided by IPNI, our Taxonomic Expert Networks (TENs), content providers or WCVP.
  • 370,186 records have classification or nomenclatural data improvements, or both. 
  • Updated Family classifications have been provided by TENs for: all 232 Bryophyte Families. The 6 Conifer Families Araucariaceae, Cephalotaxaceae, Cupressaceae, Pinaceae, Podocarpaceae, & Taxaceae and the two Cycad Families: Cycadaceae & Zamiaceae. There have also been corrections and updates for Ericaceaeae, Fabaceae, Mayacaceae, Pontederiaceae, Putranjivaceae, Lowiaceae & Zingiberaceae.
  • The following TEN groups curate their classification in WCVP, and now follow WCVP version 11: Arecaceae, Annonaceae, Cyperaceaae, Poaceae, Sapotaceae & Urticaceae.
  • 100 default classification have been updated to WCVP version 10 or version 11 depending on what data was available at the time up update.
  • These non TEN Families are updated to follow WCVP version 10 (December 2022): Acanthaceae, Achariaceae, Acoraceae, Aextoxicaceae, Akaniaceae, Alseuosmiaceae, Alstroemeriaceae, Altingiaceae, Alzateaceae, Amborellaceae, Anisophylleaceae, Araliaceae, Asteliaceae, Austrobaileyaceae, Brunelliaceae, Celastraceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Combretaceae, Corsiaceae, Crypteroniaceae, Dipentodontaceae, Lacistemataceae, Lauraceae, Myodocarpaceae, Myrtaceae, Nothofagaceae, Rubiaceae, Schisandraceae, Schlegeliaceae, Trimeniaceae.
  • These non TEN Families are updated to follow WCVP version 11 (April 2023): Alismataceae, Aponogetonaceae, Araceae, Berberidopsidaceae, Bignoniaceae, Bromeliaceae, Burmanniaceae, Butomaceae, Byblidaceae, Calceolariaceae, Cardiopteridaceae, Carlemanniaceae, Columelliaceae, Cymodoceaceae, Dasypogonaceae, Degeneriaceae, Ecdeiocoleaceae, Eriocaulaceae, Escalloniaceae, Eucommiaceae, Eupomatiaceae, Flagellariaceae, Garryaceae, Gelsemiaceae, Gentianaceae, Gerrardinaceae, Helwingiaceae, Himantandraceae, Hydrocharitaceae, Joinvilleaceae, Juncaceae, Junc aginaceae, Lentibulariaceae, Lepidobotryaceae, Linderniaceae, Loganiaceae, Magnoliaceae, Martyniaceae, Maundiaceae, Mazaceae, Myristicaceae, Nartheciaceae, Oleaceae, Orobanchaceae, Paulowniaceae, Pedaliaceae, Petenaeaceae, Phrymaceae, Phyllonomaceae, Plantaginaceae, Plocospermataceae, Posidoniaceae, Potamogetonaceae, Rapateaceae, Restionaceae, Ruppiaceae, Scheuchzeriaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Stemonaceae, Stemonuraceae, Stilbaceae, Tapisciaceae, Tetrachondraceae, Thomandersiaceae, Thurniaceae, Tofieldiaceae, Typhaceae, Verbenaceae, Xyridaceae, Zosteraceae.
  • Data cleaning and improvements to the data have been facilitated by Catalogue of Life ChecklistBank’s validation checks. Selected improvements include deduplication of 3291 name records, approximately 1600 name pairs, 1562 chained basionym records have been removed and the 352 records attached to the wrong parent in the classification have been corrected. There was also work to remove homoglyphs & diacritic characters and work to clean up unparsable names and authorships of accepted names.

The data is available in four places.

Technical Updates

We have continued to develop the WFO Plant List API:


Work in the last six months has included refinements to the name matching algorithm in collaboration with the Euro+Med project and others. There is now form based matching tool that accepts simple CSV files.

Recently we have started development on an R package that uses the API and plan to have this available via CRAN by the end of the year.


Please encourage people to make use of the API and name matching tool to add WFO IDs to their projects. We are particularly interested to hear from people who are using the R languagein their research so that they can steer development of the new package.