Gardens

Massive Plant List

A global conservation tool in the form of a Plant List with 1.25 million scientific names was published at the end of December, 2010, Kew Gardens reports. The Plant List will help conservation through establishing proper names and understanding of plants, which will help communication. As Kew Gardens writes, it’s not a good idea for people to use a plant for food or medicine if they’re not sure what it is.

Kew Gardens 2The Plant List was a joint effort between Kew Gardens and Missouri Botanical Garden. Computers were used to help sort through millions of plant name records assembled over the past two decades in several huge lists that belong to places like the Missouri Botanical Garden. Some plants, such as the Acacia Nilotica, had 129 names for the plant, its seeds or its fruit. Now when two people are discussing plants and using different names, they will know they really are talking about the same plant.

As well, when compiling agricultural, medicinal or conservation information, it helps a lot to be able to recognize references to a certain plant regardless of what name is used.

This Plant List is Step 1 for the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Strategy.  Now that it’s completed, efforts can focus on conservation of as many plant species as possible.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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