Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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Plant Species Numbers

Even today the number of plant species currently in existence is not clear. New species are still being identified and calculating anything like an accurate number is further complicated by the many examples of the same species in different areas being known by different names. However it is estimated that the total number of plants is of the order of 400,000 species.

The first consolidated checklist of the world's plants was completed in 2010. The 'Plant List' provides a catalogue of plant names organised to show which names are accepted and which are considered synonyms. The Plant List currently holds over 1 million plant species names, of which around 350,000 are accepted names. Over 240,000 names remain to be resolved into 'accepted name' or 'synonym'.

How many of these plant species are under threat is also unclear, but it is estimated that around 1 in 5 (20%) plant species are threatened with extinction.