Search the data
Example Plant Name Searches
The quick search or full name search allows you to search easily on a name and get matching records back at the same rank. Use it for pasting search terms in from documents elsewhere, without having to separately paste the elements of the name into the relevant box.
For instance to find all of the species names in IPNI that match Poa annua:
Note that this won't retrieve Poa annua var. nepalensis because it has searched at the rank of species (the same rank as Poa annua)
The quick search uses the case of the term you entered (i.e. whether you have used capital letters or not) to work out what rank of name you are searching on. This is different from all of the other searches in IPNI, which are always case insensitive.
To quick search for a genus name you must use a capital letter at the beginning of the name, otherwise the name will be searched for at ranks other than genus:
will result in a list of genera called Poa whereas:
will result in a list of species, all with the specific epithet poa
To find infraspecific (or infrageneric or infrafamilial) records you have to include a rank at the right level and then either a wild card (*) or the term you are searching for.
For instance, to get the infraspecific records found in Poa annua:
Note that this will return varieties and forms as well as subspecies. You can also use this to search for infrageneric (or infra familial) ranks. For example:
will only look for Alpinae within Poa whereas:
retrieves every instance of an infrageneric with the name Alpinae and
retrieves every infrageneric name within Poa (not all at the rank sect.)
If you're looking for a particular binomial name (i.e. a scientific name in the form Setaria italica, where Setaria is the genus name and italica is the species name) then fill in the form as follows:
This will give you all the names which match Setaria italica - including all the infraspecific names (trinomials) below Setaria italica, such as Setaria italica var. hostii. Use the infraspecific epithet box to narrow a search right down to a specific trinomial. If you aren't sure how to spell a name or want to search by part of a name you can use wildcards:
If you did want to use this form to limit your results to a particular rank, use the show ranks combo:
This will give you a list of names at species rank only
You will also find you're getting duplicates of some names coming from the different indexes (About the index explains the differences between the indexes). If you want to exclude data from one of the indexes you can use the check buttons to select some or all of them. For example this would only retrieve data from the Gray Index and IK:
Searching by Author
If you want to find all the names that were published by a particular author then use the author search term. Wild cards are helpful here because a lot of the author data in IPNI has not yet been standardised. The following search will retrieve everything published by Brummitt, and everything where the basionym was originally published by Brummitt:
Using the author check boxes will enable you to narrow your search to only find names where the author is the author of the name, or to only find names where the author is the author of the basionym. The basionym author is the name in parentheses before the main author. So in Calystegia stebbinsii Brummitt, Brummitt is the taxon name author, and in Calpurnia indica (Brummitt) Yakovlev Brummitt is the basionym author and Yakovlev is the taxon name author (in this case the author of the combination). The search below would retrieve Calystegia stebbinsii, but not Calpurnia indica
Searching by other terms
Publication title will allow you to retrieve names by the journal or book in which they were originally published. It can be quite a slow search, and many publications aren't standardised so use wild cards.
This will retrieve everything that was published in journals or books beginning Eryth
Searching by Family name will give you everything published within a family. Treat this with caution (see Understanding the Data for details of why). Infrafamilial names are things like tribes, subfamilies, subtribes and supertribes. The search will retrieve just the infrafamilial name details, not all the names within that infrafamilial group.
Infrageneric names, like infrafamilial names will just give you the infrageneric names themselves, not all of the names within that infrageneric group. Infrageneric names are things like subgenera, series and sects.
This search will retrieve all the infrafamilial names within Orchidaceae beginning with A:
Extended Search Options
Clicking on 'show additional search terms...' in the full search form will expand the form to display the extended search options. Please note that these searches will usually only work for more recent records in IPNI. We are working towards making these more generally applicable but before you use them please read and inwardly digest the distribution and record date help notes.
The following search will retrieve all Orchid records from Brazil, added since the beginning of 2010:
You can enter a number of different countries at a time by using OR. For example, this would retrieve all of the (recent) records from Kenya, Uganda or Tanzania:
Example Author Searches
The most common and useful search is probably by surname. IPNI includes alternative versions of some authors names such as Linnaeus, also known as Linné so searching by either Linnaeus or Linne or Linné will work (note that you don't need to put in the accented character in the search term).
You can narrow your search by including a forename. It is advisable to include wild cards at the end or you may get no results at all as some author records only have initials, and some have the full forename or forenames.
This search will retrieve all the Smiths with first names beginning with 'A':
Use the Standard Form to find out the name of an author given the standard form (also known as the author abbreviation). You may have seen authors cited as part of a scientific name - for example, in Poa agrostidea DC., 'DC.' is the standard form for the author of Poa agrostidea. To find out about this author, you could search as follows:
Finally, you can also search for authors by country, for example Australia or Brazil. This data is incomplete at the moment, so you won't get an exhaustive list - just those for which we have the information.
Example Publication Searches
This screen will allow you to find out about publications where plant names have been published by either the full title, or the standard short form. (See the pages on Understanding the data for information about how these were determined). Publications can be either books or serial publications such as journals
For instance, to find out about all editions of Linnaeus' Species Plantarum, you could search as follows:
We recommend that you use a wild card at the end for most title searches as the full title can be extremely long.
If you can't find what you are looking for, or you think a title may be ambiguous, try a leading wildcard too. Say you want information on Hortus Britannicus, you would need to search on the following to find Loudon's Hortus Britannicus and Sweet's Hortus Britannicus.
IK and Gray Card Index records usually use abbreviations for the publication title (the APNI data tends to give the full journal or book title). To find out about a publication given an abbreviated title, use the Publication Abbreviation box to search on and replace any punctuation with a wildcard e.g. to find the full title of the abbreviation Bot. Cab. search as follows:
Example Boolean Searches
Boolean searches (combining terms with 'and', 'not' and 'or') can increase the efficiency of your searching by allowing you to search against multiple terms at once using 'OR', or to narrow your search by combining your terms with 'AND', or to exclude particular values using 'NOT'.
Widening your searches with 'OR'
The boolean OR (NB - case is important) allows you to search on two or more values in the same field simultaneously. For example, to find all records in either the genus Poa or the genus Zea:
You can combine these terms with other ones to narrow the search; for example this will only retrieve those species beginning with 'a' that are in Poa or Zea:
Note that you should include spaces around the 'OR'.
You can use the boolean OR in name searches, author searches or publication searches, in the following fields:
Narrowing your searches with 'AND'
The boolean AND (again, case is important) allows you to search for only those records where both values provided are true. This really only makes sense for the authors field of a plant name record, where more than one author is recorded for a name.
For example, to find names that were published by both Durieu AND J.Parn. (including names where one or other of the authors might have been the author of the basionym):
This retrieves only names such as Jasione corymbosa Poir. var. glabra (Durieu ex Boiss. & Reuter) J.Parn. where both authors are included.
In contrast, the OR search would retrieve lots more records:
Including names such as Jasione montana L. var. imbricans J.Parn. and Linosyris ceruminosa Durieu & Hilg.
Excluding records from your searches with 'NOT'
The boolean NOT (again, case is important) allows you to eliminate records from your searches.
For example, to retrieve all records in Poa where the species name does NOT begin with a:
Note: please make sure you use this in combination with another search term, or the number of records you retrieve will be so large that it will have to be truncated, and other users' searches will be slowed down as a result.
You can use NOT in any of the fields where you can use OR.