IPNI The International Plant Names Index

Searching the International Plant Names Index

search namesSearch Plant Names

search authorsSearch Authors

search publicationsSearch Publications

Sample searches

If you're new to IPNI or to scientific (latin) names of plants then the following sample pages should help you find your way

You should also try the IPNI FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions List)

Can’t find a record for a name that ‘should’ be there?

IPNI is the most comprehensive listing of seed plant names available to date. However, it is still far from complete. If you cannot find the name you are hunting for we suggest that you read the tips below and Understanding the Data and, if appropriate, modify your search strategy. If you still can’t find the name you are looking for please let us know. We are working hard to improve the coverage and quality of the data presented here but we need your help.

New - from December 2005, if you find an error in any author record, you can automatically notify us by editing the record on line and submitting your changes. Just click on the 'Let us know' link on the author full record page. We hope eventually to extend this facility to all kinds of records (i.e. plant names and publications) and ultimately to allow you to add new records where you have found an omission.


If you find that IPNI responds slowly, or gives you errors or 0 results then please let the technical team know.

Tips on searching

Using families

Do not specify a family unless you really need to. For example, if you want to find citations for all the species published in the genus Elaeocarpus, just enter Elaeocarpus in the Genus Name field on the search screen. Want to know why?

Avoiding publications

Use alternatives to the publication search wherever possible. This option is currently slow and gives incomplete results since much of the data originating from the Index Kewensis has not yet been fully parsed.

Use of wildcards

Use wildcards (*) when searching for names via authors. The authors data as displayed in the IPNI has not yet been all been standardized to follow Brummitt and Powell (1992). Want to know why?

When searching for author names which may include diacritics (for example García), the search is now insensitive to diacritics so either 'Garcia' or 'García' will return the same results.

You can use leading wildcards in search terms, but only in conjunction with another non-leading wildcard search term. For instance, if you wish to search for all species ending in 'ensis' you could put '*ensis' in the species search box, but only if you also combine it with say 'Poaceae' in the family search.

Boolean searches

You can use boolean searching in certain fields. The most useful of these is likely to be 'or' - use an upper-case OR between the values you want to include (case here is important). You can also use 'and' queries - an upper-case AND - which can be useful in multivalued fields such as authors where Kapoor AND Vasey would retrieve all records where the author teams contained both Kapoor and Vasey (in any order). For 'Not' queries use an upper-case NOT but this should always be combined with another, positive, value otherwise the search will be very broad. See the example searches for more information.

Boolean searches don't work for all fields, but you can use them on:

  • Plant Name Search

    • Family

    • Genus

    • Species

    • Infrafamilial

    • Infrageneric

    • Infraspecific

    • Authors

    • Country

  • Author Search

    • Forename

    • Surname

    • Author Abbrev

    • Country

  • Publication Search

    • Publication Title

    • Publication Abbreviation

Read our pages on Understanding the Data


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