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Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
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Australian Plant Census


In 2004 the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH), with initial funding support from the Natural Heritage Trust, through the Australian Government Department of Environment & Heritage, agreed to produce a new cooperative census of Australian vascular plants. This Census will:

  • be a consensus view, endorsed by CHAH, of the taxa recognised as occurring in Australia
  • provide an overview of alternative taxonomies
  • be, so far as possible, fully synonymic, and include informal as well as formal names
  • provide an indication of geographic distribution for each taxon at State/Territory level
  • list at least the more well-known vernacular names for each taxon
  • be maintained and updated in perpetuity by CHAH
  • be an enhancement to, and an integral part of, the Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) ( html)
  • be available at

The Australian Plant Census will be compiled by a Working Group with representatives from each CHAH herbarium, with input from experts, and will be guided by a Project Coordinator based in Canberra.

The Australian Plant Census will be a major enhancement for the existing APNI, providing researchers, land managers, conservation agencies, regulatory agencies, industry and individuals with a single, unified, authoritative, annotated inventory of the Australian flora. When combined with the existing bibliographic data of APNI, and linked to other databases such as Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, the Australian Plant Census will be part of an unrivalled continental-scale biodiversity resource.

National Herbarium of New South Wales
Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Herbarium of the Northern Territory
Parks & Wildlife Commission NT Australian National Herbarium
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research Queensland Herbarium
Environmental Protection Agency Western Australian Herbarium
Conservation and Land Management Tasmanian Herbarium
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery National Herbarium of Victoria
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne State Herbarium of South Australia
Plant Biodiversity Centre Australian Biological Resources Study logo - Dept of the Environment and Heritage
Updated 26 May, 2008