Botanic Gardens Conservation International
BGCI provides a global voice for all botanic gardens, championing and celebrating their inspiring work. We are the world's largest plant conservation network, open to all. Join us in helping to save the world's threatened plants.

PlantSearch updates – new links and features now available

19 January 2015

BGCI’s PlantSearch database is the only global database of living plant, seed and tissue collections currently containing over 1,200,000 collection records provided by over 1,000 institutions. The database connects living collections, aiding conservation, research and education efforts on plant species; particularly those listed as threatened, rare or with medicinal properties.

The BGCI team, working in collaboration with the international organisation CABI, and with support from the United States Botanic Garden (more details here), have recently updated PlantSearch to better serve the botanical community. 

A number of new features are therefore now available. These include:

  • A link to CABI’s Invasive Species Compendium (ISC), providing species-level links to plant host datasheets (where applicable) within the ISC. A new column labelled ‘Invasive Species Compendium fact sheet’ is provided in the PlantSearch query results. For those plant species with ISC host datasheets a link (‘Look Up’) will appear in the appropriate column which will take the user to the relevant datasheet.These include details of the major and minor pests and pathogens for a given plant species.See example here.
  • Species classification information (to genus level) and identification of synonymy at the species level (where matches have been found) . See example here.
  • Links to a wide range of other taxonomic and biodiversity databases, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library, the Catalogue of Life, the Plant List and Kew’s Plant Information Portal.

As well as listing the significant threats to a host plant, the ISC datasheets provide detailed information about those pests and pathogens identified. These pest datasheets include pictures and information on the Latin and common names, current distribution, biology, risk of introduction, host plants and natural enemies. All of which can be used to support the identification and/or the management of pest problems.    

This work has been completed as part of the International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN). The developing network, which consists of botanic gardens, arboreta and diagnostic institutes, aims to provide an early-warning system for new and emerging plant pests and pathogens. The IPSN focuses on increasing knowledge and awareness among garden staff, seeking best practises, developing standardised approaches and providing training materials and methodologies for monitoring and surveying. To find out more, including how to get involved please go to 

CABI is an international not-for-profit organisation that uses scientific expertise to solve agricultural and environmental problems; improving people’s lives around the world. For more information on who CABI are please go to




Back to news archive