Flora of China

Alan V. Tucker tucker at MOBOT.MOBOT.ORG
Mon Dec 12 16:36:24 CST 1994

                        FLORA OF CHINA ONLINE

The Flora of China is an international scientific project that will
publish the first modern English-language account of the vascular
plants of China.  See on-line resources at


Within the next 12 years, the project will publish 25 volumes dealing with
the descriptions, distributions, and economic and medicinal importance of
approximately 30,000 species of indigenous, naturalized, and cultivated
plants in China.  The Flora includes about 8,000 species of medicinally
and economically important plants and about 7,500 species of trees and
shrubs. Much of the information on these plants is currently unavailable
to people who do not read Chinese.

Selected information from the project, including botanical names,
literature, geographical distribution, and endemism status will
become available in advance of publication as an electronic checklist.
The project provides the scientific backbone for organizing and
accessing all the information on 1/8 of the world's plants.
Information from the project will prove useful to scientists and
others in basic and applied research, conservation, land management,
horticulture, and medicine.

The Flora of China marks a new stage in the promotion of botanical
interchange between China, the US, and other countries.  The project
is a collaboration between Chinese and foreign botanists.  All
manuscripts are co-authored by Chinese and non-Chinese specialists
from the US, Canada, the UK, Europe, Japan, Australia, and Russia.
They are reviewed by other botanists, including regional advisors
who are experts on the floras of countries bordering China.  The
project has 5 non-Chinese centers at the Arnold Arboretum (Harvard
University), the California Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian
Institution, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh (Scotland), and
the Missouri Botanical Garden, which serves as the organizational
and coordinating center of the project.  The 4 Chinese centers are
the Institute of Botany (Beijing), the Kunming Institute of Botany,
the Jiangsu Institute of Botany (Nanjing), and the South China
Institute of Botany (Guangzhou).  Over 600 scientists participate in
the project.

Current online resources include family texts (including keys and
descriptions), illustrations, and specimen data.  Family manuscripts
online represent Volume 16 (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadaceae,
Menyanthaceae, Polemoniaceae, Hydrophyllaceae), Volume 15
(Myrsinaceae, Primulaceae, Plumbaginaceae, Styracaceae,
Symplocaceae, Loganiaceae), Volume 24 (Iridaceae), and Volume 4
(Piperaceae, Saururaceae).  Illustrations from the Flora Reipublicae
Popularis Sinicae, with updated nomenclature and scale bars, are
available for 17 species in 11 genera of Solanaceae.  Additional
illustrations will appear over time.  Collection data of over 2,000
specimens of 22 annual species of Hypericum are available.
Ihsan Al-Shehbaz/foc at mobot.mobot.org

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