Germany has the largest plant base in the world. Scientists can now use a single source and do research faster.

Leipzig University Botanical Garden curator Martin Freiberg and his colleagues at Leipzig University have provided the most comprehensive list of scientific names for all known plant species in the world. The Leipzig Plant Catalog (LCVP) updates and expands existing knowledge of plant species names and may replace the Plant List. This is the catalog presented by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London. It is called the most important reference source for plant researchers.

With 1,315,562 scientific names, the handbook is now the most detailed source on vascular plants. Freiberg collected information from available databases, synchronized it, and standardized the titles according to the best criteria. He used 4.5 thousand other studies and eliminated such discrepancies as different spellings and synonyms. The researcher also added thousands of new species, which he found thanks to advances in molecular genetic analysis.

In my daily work at the Botanical Garden, I regularly come across new species names and see that there are gaps in the existing reference lists. This always means doing additional research, which prevents scientists from doing real research. I decided to remove this obstacle.

Martin Freiberg

The database includes 351 thousand vascular plant species, and 6 thousand hybrids, 13 thousand genera, 564 families. It also lists all synonyms and provides additional details. This means that it contains more than 70 thousand species and subspecies.

“The catalog will encourage researchers around the world to refer to the same species when using the name,” says Freiberg. Initially, I planned to use this kit only for myself, but colleagues from other botanical gardens in Germany encouraged me to make this work available to everyone. “