How To Use


There are two options when searching for a taxon: (1) navigate the taxon tree, or (2) type the name of the taxon in the search field (recommended when searching for a possible synonym).

The asterisk (*) can be used as a wildcard in the search field.


Query “Rhipsalis” will find all names in Rhipsalis

Query “Rhipsalis b*” will find all names in Rhipsalis beginning with b

Query “Rhipsalis baccifera” will find all names containing this term, including the subspecies.

In the search results list, the names of accepted taxa are displayed in blue. All other names displayed in grey are synonyms. Clicking on them leads you to the page of the accepted taxon. 

Using the “Advanced search”, you can restrict your search to certain types of information.

Using the “Advanced” tab allows you to restrict your search to accepted names only or to a geographical region. Note that distribution data are currently not entered for all taxa. 

Using the “By content category” tab, you can search within all text-based information, like discussion notes, diagnoses, descriptions, etc. Choose the appropriate category by ticking the box. Note that not all information is available for all taxa.


Taxon pages

Genus page

The genus page provides the accepted genus name and its synonyms. Discussion notes provide information about the current state of knowledge in terms of monophyly or phylogenetic relationships of the genus.

Taxon page

The taxon page provides the accepted name and its synonyms. For some names, types protologue links are already provided as well. Further information is so far only included for a few species.

Distribution data are so far available only for a few species. They are given either as free text or following the TDWG standard ( and are listed according to country and displayed in a zoomable map, using TDWG areas as mapping units. The status of occurrence is displayed using different colours as indicated.


Secundum References

If published sources are used, each taxon concept is indicated by a “secundum-” (or “sec.-”) reference, a bibliographic reference that distinguishes one taxon from others. A secundum reference thus indicates the research that forms the basis of accepting a taxon or placing it into synonymy. It serves as a quality stamp, tracing the scientific rationale behind a taxon’s classification and acknowledges the authors of this research.

Similarly, the “syn. sec.” reference indicates the source for placing a name in the synonymy of an accepted name.

Currently, our portal uses "sec." references in distinct ways. For accepted names and their synonyms, they signify the basis of acceptance or synonymy. For unplaced names or names of uncertain application, they denote the source of that name and its categorization.

At present, the portal does not support multiple secundum references for a single name. 

Secundum references are selected by our editors or compilers based on criteria detailed in the “Editorial” section, ensuring a consistent approach.