The aim of this webpage is to provide organized botanical knowledge of Namibia's indigenous flora. It is not just another digital list of plants, but part of our extensive database that has been ongoing for more than thirty years. Only verified and/or new information from literature, herbaria and our extensive field work and collections is added online so that the information is as accurate as possible
Plant taxonomy, especially in its traditional forms, is going through some bad times and the current tendency for plant names to keep changing is confusing for users of taxonomic information. Some name changes are inevitable and acceptable when based on character-based research, however molecular systematics is leading to re-classification of families, genera and species without consideration of the consequences of these changes to others, like ecologists, biogeographers, horticulturists and the large non-professional public.
Because our aim is to produce a practical, workable dataset 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 and therefore a practical tool for work in the field and in the herbarium. Taxonomic decisions made here are based on morphological and distributional data, as well as phylogenetic analyses that are linked to these data.
About 4050 plants are accepted here as being indigenous to Namibia of which over 3860 are seed plants and 175 non seed plants. About 700 are endemic to Namibia and another 600 or more occur just over the country’s borders. The database focuses on the plants but will also include some macro fungi and the 170 lichen species documented to date, of which at least 10 are endemic to Namibia.
Tiganophytaceae is the only endemic family and a number are near endemic with the most well-known being Welwitschiaceae. The most diverse families are those known to be among the largest families worldwide including the Poaceae, Asteraceae and Leguminosae, but there are many others with few taxa in Namibia that maybe rare and distinctive.
Patricia Craven and Herta Kolberg have worked extensively on the systematics of Namibian plants. Some of our published papers can be found on Researchgate https://www.researchgate.net/
For further information, please contact Patricia Craven or Herta Kolberg email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rapid access options to the database can be found below. Use Browse for full text, map and image searches.
Search by taxa name
The database includes information on a variety of aspects of the taxonomy and systematics of Namibian plants, as well as distributions, endemism, protected species, red listing and aspects of interest and importance for other users. References used in the compilation of the checklist and contributed other information are listed in resources.
The information in the database is inconsistent across the accepted species partly because of lack of research on many Namibian taxa. Certain information is listed in the resources for example, 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. Only synonyms relevant to Namibia are included in the dataset and many more are listed alphabetically in the resource list. More specimen records and images will be added in time.
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. Work on this database is not funded and data may not be sold or used for commercial purposes.© Craven P. & Kolberg, H. 2023.