Eucalyptus kingsmillii subsp. alatissima

A census for Australian plants

As a nationally endorsed list of currently used names for native and naturalised higher plants in Australia, the Australian Plant Census (APC) is an invaluable tool with applications ranging from research to biodiversity management.

  • 16 September 2009 | Updated 14 October 2011

The APC is due for completion in 2011, but even in its unfinished state it is regularly used by researchers, government departments and interested members of the public.

Government agencies, for example, use the information from these databases as an authoritative source of accepted names for rare and threatened plants. This type of information is vital to inform correct decision-making for the protection of Australia’s unique flora.

APC is linked to another comprehensive database, the Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), which lists all scientific names for higher plants ever used in the Australian scientific literature.

The APNI project had its origins in a card index maintained by former CSIRO Herbarium Curator, Dr Nancy Burbidge, which was further developed by Arthur Chapman in the 1980s. An electronic version was created in the early 1990s and is currently maintained by Mr Brendan Lepschi and a Canberra-based team at the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.

The APC project began four years ago and serves an important role in communicating Australia’s botanical diversity to a broad audience.

APNI and APC are constantly updated with new information provided by users and gathered from scientific publications.

APNI [external link] and APC [external link] are freely accessible online.