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Published December 22, 2023 | Version 2023-12
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World Flora Online Plant List December 2023



Data curators:


A global consensus classification of vascular plants and bryophytes used as the taxonomic backbone for the World Flora Online (WFO) portal ( and the WFO Plant List (

Initiated in 2012, WFO has developed to represent a comprehensive knowledge base on the world’s plant species.  Comprising over 50 botanical institutions and organisations worldwide, the WFO Consortium recognizes the need for the synthesis of botanical knowledge that has been generated through more than 260 years of botanical exploration, taxonomic and, more recently, phylogenetic research throughout the world. Endorsed by the Convention on Biological Diversity, WFO supports the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation ( and the Montreal-Kunming Global Biodiversity Framework.

WFO has become a first-ever global source of information on the world’s plant diversity supported by the international taxonomic community. At the heart of the WFO is a checklist which aims to provide the most up to date source of scientific plant names and their synonyms compiled. The WFO checklist is curated, moderated and updated by an expert and specialist-based global community (Taxonomic Expert Networks ,TENs) covering a taxonomic group.

The initial data ingestion into the WFO checklist was undertaken in 2015 using data from The Plant List Version 1.1 (TPL, September 2013). The list of datasets contributing to TPL is given here:

New taxonomic names and data updates are regularly incorporated into WFO from nomenclators: International Plant Name Index (IPNI, for vascular plants, and Tropicos ( for bryophytes.

Classification and nomenclatural updates have been incorporated from WFO TENs, and classification data for taxonomic groups not yet covered by a TEN have been incorporated from the World Checklist of Vascular Plants (WCVP,, facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

New versions of this global consensus classification are released every six months, in June and December. Detail of the changes since June 2023, incorporated this December 2023 release, are given here:

This data repository includes the following files:

  • The Catalogue of Life Data Package of the WFO Plant List. This is the most expressive standards based form of the list.
  • plant_list_2023-12.json.gz JSON formatted version of the WFO Plant List. This has been designed for direct import into a schemaless instance of a SOLR index and is used to drive the WFO Plant List API ( which in turn drives the WFO Plant List in the portal. This is recommended if you want a local, read only version of the list rather than use the API.
  • plant_list_2023-12.sql.gz This is the complete production database (minus logging data and API keys) as a MySQL backup file. It can be restored directly to a MySQL 8.0 or later instance if you require the list in SQL format.
  • ipni_to_wfo.csv.gz A file mapping all the IPNI IDs we track to their associated WFO IDs.
  • families_dwc.tar.gz Individual Darwin Core Archive files for each of 718 recognized families. If you want a single family in DwC but can't load the whole list download and expand this file. Family and genus files are also available for download through the portal.
  • A single Darwin Core Archive file containing non deprecated names and taxa for use in the existing R package.
  • A single Darwin Core Archive file containing all names and taxa even those that are deprecated along with some extra columns


New versions of the WFO Plant List are released each solstice, in June and December.


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