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The Best Plant Research Sites

Guayacan for BlogJune2013


Dear Friends

Researching information on plants, butterflies, birds, animals, can be daunting. Below are several of the best sites to find what you need – not just correct taxonomy but also interesting facts about your subject and the botanists.

For Academy program students,  please make a record of these sites.  Take a  few minutes to poke around and see what they offer.  Keep them handy for when your course instruction asks you to apply this information.

As many of you know, much of this is in my books, but here it is in the recent form as the internet keeps expanding and these sites keep improving.  We are indeed fortunate to have such bountiful resources.

In addition, when you find the information on the plant you are looking for, the citation should read like this:

Alpinia purpurata (Vieill.) K. Schum. 1904, Pflanzen. IV. 46(Heft 20): 323, f. 40A. 1904.
Common Name: red-ginger (English, United States)  Brako, L., A.Y. Rossman & D.F. Farr. 1995. Sci. Comm. Names 1–294. Missouri Botanical Garden. 31 Mar 2015 <>


My best to you all.

God bless. Olivia




Germplasm Resources Information Network  

This site is connected to USDA but offers additional information.

Find plant taxonomy, author, dates, and common names. Scroll down to Links to find additional information on other sites.

When you click on Family name, you also can get the information about the author for the family name.


Taxon: Guaiacum officinale L.

Genus: Guaiacum

Family: Zygophyllaceae subfamily: Larreoideae.

Nomen number: 18047

Place of publication: Sp. pl. 1:381. 1753





This site is connected to Missouri Botanical Gardens

The Plant List, IPNI, Australian Plant Name Index, New York Botanical Garden, Museum National d’Histoire in Paris, US National Herbarium, Virtual Herbarium Austria, J-Store Plant Science, African Plant Database at Geneva Botanical Gardens.


Tropicos Page Image———————————————————————————————————————–



Has Latin name of plant and common name.  Has speaker to hear Latin names of subject. ALSO SEARCH FOR BUTTERFLIES, MOTHS, BIRDS AND ANIMALS INFO.

Scroll down to see taxonomic breakdown and learn the author.

Look below under NOTES and find the publication year.

Genus: Guaiacum () – C. Linnaeus, 1753

Specific epithet: officinale – L.

Botanical name: Guaiacum officinale L.

Notes: ……………………,etc. (Under “Notes” is where you may find the author and the date of publication.)



The International Plant Names Index

This site offers Plant names, author, dates.

Also, place the abbreviated author’s name in “Standard Form” box and get the full name of the author, plus dates of birth/death.  Site also provides info on publications.


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This site works best if you have the Latin name.  Once you place name in the search, if they have the info a screen comes up and gives you the following information.  Plus, it has about 13 other links to connect you to find more info about the plant.

Example of researching Guaiacum officinale L. 


Here is what comes up….


Guaiacum officinale L. is an accepted name

This name is the accepted name of a species in the genus Guaiacum (family Zygophyllaceae).

The record derives from WCSP (in review) which reports it as an accepted name with original publication details: Sp. Pl. 381 1753.

Full publication details for this name can be found in IPNI:





Access species profiles, interactive distribution maps, and photographs by browsing checklists or taxonomy pages, or by searching for a species of interest.



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When you prepare labels for identification, the format may be decided by the editor or curator or gallery owner.  These formats for name presentation of living specimens changes for many reasons.

The highest presentation form would be to include all the information and let the

judging body decide what they want to include. Note in the following example, “nv” means common name.



Guaiacum officinale L.  1753

nv  Lignum Vitae (or Tree of Life)

Artist Title:  “El Guardian de la Casa”



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