A New Flora of the Pacific Northwest
A project by the Burke Museum Herbarium
Taxonomic Conspectus (version 1)

Numerous changes to our flora have occurred since the 1973 publication of the Flora of the Pacific Northwest. These include the discovery of new species, range extensions of native species previously not known to occur in our flora, the arrival of additional non-native species, and taxonomic revisions to existing families, genera, and species.

The estimates below were obtained by comparing a list of all names in the 1973 Flora to a current draft checklist for the flora region. The draft checklist was generated by mining the PNW Herbaria database for a list of all names from all native and naturalized specimens that fall within the flora boundary, and reducing this list to only accepted names based on comparison with a synonymized checklist covering all of BC, ID, MT, OR, and WA. Due to the draft nature of this checklist, the numbers below are not exact and likely overestimate the true extent of changes. More precise numbers will be obtained as we improve the checklist and work through individual treatments.

In summary, the total size of the flora may increase by up to 33%, depending on how waifs and peripheral taxa are treated. Around 37% of the species and infraspecies names in the 1973 Flora have been affected by nomenclatural changes. Approximately 51% of the generic keys will require modification to account for generic level splits or the addition/removal of species. Some of these keys should be entirely rewritten.

This is an old page. Please refer to the current estimate.

Comparison of the total number of taxa treated:
  1973 Flora Current Flora % Increase Comments
Families 130 158 22%  
Genera 811 1,163 43%  
Species 3,529 4,969 41%  
Infraspecies (terminal) 1,382 1,569 14% (excludes quadrinomials)
Terminal Taxa 4,288 5,707 33%  
Native Terminal Taxa 3,602 4,283 19%  
Exotic Terminal Taxa 686 1424 108% Includes waifs and scarcely naturalized taxa that may not warrant treatment in the revised Flora.
# of Names 4,928 6,538 33%  
New additions not treated in the 1973 Flora:
  # Added % Increase Comments
Terminal Taxa1 1,847 43% Total number of species and infraspecies currently known from our flora that are not treated in any manner in the 1973 Flora.
Native Terminal Taxa1 1,034 29% Includes range extensions for native taxa formerly not known to occur in the flora region, and species new to science.
Exotic Terminal Taxa1 813 119% Introduced taxa documented from the flora following publication of the 1973 Flora. Includes waifs and scarcely naturalized taxa that may not warrant treatment in the revised Flora.

1. These totals and percentages only include taxa newly added to the flora. They do not reflect taxa lost to synonymy or no longer considered part of the flora due to a recircumscription of the boundary.

Nomenclatural changes for taxa treated in the 1973 Flora:
  # Changed % Changed Comments
Species/Infraspecies Names 1,840 37% Changes in rank and transfers to other genera.
Genus Names 152 19% Genera in which part or all of the species have been transferred to one or more other genera.
Generic Splits 88 11% Genera which have been split up into multiple genera (e.g., Aster).
Infraspecies raised to Species 519 38%  
Species reduced to Infraspecies 190 5%