Submitted to: Proceedings Of The IR-4/USDA Crop Grouping Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 20, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Communication about economic vascular plants depends directly on accurate scientific names. Such communication is essential for the exchange of agricultural commodities around the world. As part of the USDA National Plant Germplasm System a database is currently available with accurate taxonomic information about over 36,000 economically important plants. These data include the scientific names of the economically important plants as well as their common names, distribution records, and economic uses. These proceedings describe this database of plant information. These proceedings will be used by scientists, policy makers, commodity traders, and persons involved in agriculture and world trade of agricultural and horticultural goods.
The taxonomic portion of the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) of the USDA's National Plant Germplasm System provides the scientific names for all of the plant germplasm. Recently, the coverage has been extended beyond agriculture to plants throughout the world, such as poisonous plants, ornamentals, weeds, medicinal or rare plants. This database now provides accurate scientific names for nearly 36,000 species of plants. For nearly two decades USDA botanists have surveyed the botanical literature and compiled extensive data relating to nomenclature, synonymy, classification, and a bibiliography of taxonomic resources for the included plants. These data are available to internet users, and thousands of queries of these data are answered daily. Direct consultation for complex nomenclatural issues is also often provided. Many agricultural organizations rely on this database as a dependable source of accurate scientific names.