Botanical Institutions To Catalog World’s Plants

Botanical Institutions To Catalog World’s Plants

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Four of the world’s leading botanical institutions have started a catalog of every plant on the globe, with plans to make the inventory of at least 400,000 species available for free online by 2020. The catalog, called the World Flora, will compile scientific information and images of plant species worldwide, in part to help halt the loss of plant biodiversity around the world, officials said.

Until a few years ago, plant experts weren’t sure how many species existed. The Missouri Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, developed a database referred to as the Plant List, which includes about 400,000 species. Officials believe another 40,000 or so species have yet to be discovered.

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