The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew have recently launched a new portal, Plants of the World Online (POWO): http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org
In line with Kew’s 2015 Science Strategy, the portal aims to enable users to access information on all the world’s known seed-bearing plants by 2020. With over 8.5 million items, Kew ‘s collections represent over 95% of known flowering plant genera and more than 60% of known fungal genera and yet, only 20% of this knowledge is available online. The portal:
- opens 250 year old archives to allow global access
- provides a resource for taxonomy, policy, conservation, management, sustainable agriculture and teaching
- is based on a user friendly search interface – ability to search by Latin name, common name, place, trait
- itilises the most up-to-date taxonomy available to provide the correct Latin name and synonymy for plants
The portal has launched with a focus on African Floras. Ultimately, it will become a single point of access for information on all plant species, such as identification, distribution, traits, conservation, molecular phylogenies and uses.