The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) is a database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

 of botanical names. It indexes names of seed plants, fern
A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...

s and "fern allies". Coverage is best at the rank of species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 (see ). It includes basic bibliographical details, associated with the names, and its goals include eliminating the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names.

IPNI is the product of a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. "The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" and the brand name "Kew" are also used as umbrella terms for the institution that runs...

 (Index Kewensis
Index Kewensis
The Index Kewensis , maintained by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is a publication that aims to register all botanical names for seed plants at the rank of species and genera...

), The Harvard University Herbaria
Harvard University Herbaria
The Harvard University Herbaria and Botanical Museum are institutions located on the grounds of Harvard University at 22 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts...

 (Gray Herbarium Index), and the Australian National Herbarium (APNI
Australian Plant Name Index
The Australian Plant Name Index is an online database of all published names of Australian vascular plants. It covers all names, whether current names, synonyms or invalid names...

). The IPNI database is a collection of the names registered by the three cooperating institutions and they work towards standardizing the information. The standard of author abbreviations recommended by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature is Brummitt and Powell’s Authors of Plant Names, a digital (and updated) version of which can be consulted online at IPNI.

The use of IPNI is free of charge. The IPNI provides names that have appeared in scholarly publications, with the objective of providing an index of published names rather than prescribing the accepted botanical nomenclature
Botanical nomenclature
Botanical nomenclature is the formal, scientific naming of plants. It is related to, but distinct from taxonomy. Plant taxonomy is concerned with grouping and classifying plants; botanical nomenclature then provides names for the results of this process. The starting point for modern botanical...


A similar project, which lists names of fungi, is the Index Fungorum
Index Fungorum
Index Fungorum, an international project to index all formal names in the Fungi Kingdom. Somewhat comparable to the IPNI, but with more contributing institutions....

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