Plant Information System: About

By Herta Kolberg and Patricia Craven

The Database

This online database is part of our extensive BRAHMS database covering plants in Namibia. This list is not perfect and represents work in progress. Only verified and/or new information is added online so that the information is as accurate as possible.

We started with family, genus and species names and added fields for the taxonomic status, synonyms, citation, types etc. Other fields include IUCN listing and criteria, etymology and distribution.

Because our aim is to produce a practical, workable list of the indigenous plants of Namibia, our accepted names are (as far as possible) based on systems that allow for identification within the Namibian context. Often some sort of judgement calls had to be made concerning what we accepted. Name changes merely listed in publications have not been followed for now. We excluded some name changes based on molecular work for instance, where distributions or cited specimens were not given, because we were often unable to verify their presence in Namibia after changes in taxonomy.

The information in the database is still inconsistent across the accepted species and for now we provide lists for certain details. Taxa previously thought to occur in Namibia or possibly do, and those previously recorded for Namibia but found to be based on an incorrect identification are listed under Flora: checklists.

We have not included all synonyms, only those relevant to Namibia and have not specifically included references to these plants (i.e. auct. non). A list of synonyms is under Flora.

Other aspects listed under Flora include checklists of protected species, naturalised species and for non seed plants and lichens.

Specimen records are documented by location descriptions and additional image data (scans of herbarium specimens, photos of living plants) which can be used for taxonomic revision and chorological analysis.

Since Herta uses this database extensively to plan and document seed collecting, a section on the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership has been added. This gives a short background of this project as well as lists of plants of which seed has been duplicated at the Millennium Seed Bank (UK) and of which seed still needs to be collected.

About us

Since combining our species databases more than thirty years ago, we Patricia Craven and Herta Kolberg, have continued to update and expand information on all aspects of the taxonomy and systematics of Namibian plants, as well as distributions and other aspects.

Besides collaborating, we have our own specific interests. Patricia works on floristic groups, endemics and genus Petalidium, while Herta is now an independent researcher and botanical consultant with specific interest in seed conservation and habitat restoration.

Our published papers can be found on Researchgate at our Plants of Namibia project:

Databasing is boring and seldom (or never) funded. It also produces better results if done by a competent person with an eye on the outputs. Due to the scale of the project, we will continue to update the checklist for Namibia and concentrate on specific taxa for more in depth reports