logo Calflora Name Status   HELP
Updated July 17, 2023
This application allows a user to find out the status of a particular plant name according to several nomenclature authorities. It should answer the question:
    Is this name currently accepted,
    or has it become a synonym (past name which has been changed),
    or was it misapplied at one time to plants in California?
In the Scientific Name box, enter a complete name or a partially specified name using % to match any number of characters. You may enter % more than once. The field is case-sensitive: genus names are capitalized.

Names of Hybrid Species: Binomial names of hybrid species are properly rendered with an × (ascii 215, the multiplication sign) before the specific epithet. For instance,

    Quercus ×acutidens.
Because × (ascii 215) is difficult to type, Calflora stores these names with an uppcase X instead. To search for such a name, type an uppercase X directly before the specific epithet:
    Quercus Xacutidens.

In the Status box, choose a particular status such as accepted, equivalent, or misapplied.

Calflora follows several nomenclature authorities for the accepted scientific names of wild plants in California:
  • The Jepson eFlora (JEF).


  • The CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. This is a list of about 2500 rare plants. Certain names are accepted by CNPS which are not accepted by the other authorities.

  • The 1993 Jepson Manual (JM93).

  • Other taxonomic references (OTH), including the authors of newly discovered plants.

Note: You may also want to search for plant names on the Jepson eFlora Home Page.
The Jepson eFlora covers
  • names accepted in the 2012 Jepson Manual, except for those that have been replaced by other names in the revisions since 2012; and
  • new names that have been added in the revisions since 2012.

Altogether there are more than 33,000 records of accepted and alternate scientific names from these sources.

In this context, alternate name (or sometimes synonym) indicates a name which was accepted at one time, but is no longer, and which may be equivalent to a currently accepted name.

Contradictory Interpretations. JEF and PLANTS endeavor to cover the entire spectrum of wild plants, including both accepted and alternate names. While these two do agree on most names, there are cases in which they present contradictory interpretations. For instance, in JEF, Berberis aquifolium is an accepted name and Mahonia aquifolium is an alternate name for it. In PLANTS, Mahonia aquifolium is an accepted name and Berberis aquifolium is an alternate name for it.

In the results, this application will show each name that matches the specified name pattern. For each name, it will show which authorities consider the name to be current, and which authorities consider it to be an alternate (synonym) of some other name. When a value such as appears in the REFERENCE column, it means that PLANTS and the Jepson eFlora agree on this particular interpretation.

JM93 means that the name was treated in the 1993 Jepson Manual.

This application will also show all of the alternate names of the matching names, if any.

About the Plant Name Library Calflora's policy is to assimilate new plant observation records without changing the original scientific name. When a user enters a scientific name in a plant observation query, the search uses a table to translate the entered name into all relevant alternate names, and then searches observation data for each of those names. In effect, the translation table acts as an interpretation of the observation data.