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The first major regional flora ever written in Spanish, Flora Mesoamericana is a collaborative effort of the Missouri Botanical Garden the Instituto de Biología of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the Natural History Museum, London, and numerous specialists world-wide. In Spanish, the Flora describes, for the first time, all the vascular plants growing in the southeasternmost states of Mexico (including the Yucatán Peninsula) and all the Central American republics. The project publishes its results in this Internet version (W3FM), as well as in printed volumes. W3FM first appeared on the Internet in 1994 from the Natural History Museum server. It is currently being made available from a Missouri Botanical Garden server and was converted to a real-time version during October 1997. UNAM published the first printed volume, Volume 6: Alismataceae a Cyperaceae in March 1994; Volume 1: Psilotaceae a Salviniaceae in November 1995. and Volume 4(2): Cucurbitaceae a Polemoniaceae in November 2009.  Books are available through the Missouri Botanical Garden Missori Botanical Garden Press, and for Mexico, from the Instituto de Biología (UNAM).


The Internet version of Flora Mesoamericana (W3FM) is organized in a species page format. When a species is not yet treated in full, it is presented in a checklist format. You may search the Flora for any scientific name or you may browse an index. Each page is assembled on demand from data in the Flora Mesoamericana production database as a query is made by the user, and each web page thus represents the latest up-to-date information. The finished treatments include nomenclature, type data, synonymy, descriptions, and potentially images, identification keys, voucher specimens, maps, and under the Choose Project drop-down menu, taxon-to-taxon links to alternate taxonomic treatments. Any part of W3FM may be updated at anytime as new and more up-to-date information become available. We appreciate being notified about errors and will make every effort to correct these as soon as possible.


Descriptions are intended to be parallel and, therefore, easy to compare. Please note that for volumes already printed, updates may have been made; in other words, the W3FM descriptions are not necessarily the same as those in the printed volumes.


Dichotomous keys can be found below the descriptions of the next-higher-taxon; for example, keys to species are found after the generic description to which those species belong; similarly, keys to genera are found after the family description to which those genera belong.


Specimen data is provided for all specimens recorded in the Mesoamerican portion of the Tropicos database.  We welcome data sets that can be used by the project .


Distribution maps are being made available only for taxa for which we have voucher specimens with precise geographical coordinates.

New Data

W3FM is the primary means by which changes since the publication of a printed volume of Flora Mesoamericana are being tracked. Such updates are documented by literature references, and/or comments and new observations from contributors, and/or voucher specimens, and appear under the heading New Data on the appropriate species pages. To obtain a list of the taxa with such updates, check off the box named: "Show only Names with new data" on the Name Search screen. Updates that have been made since publication of the Flora Mesoamericana volume containing the family, are currently organized around the following twenty categories of new information:

  1. Newly described taxon.
  2. New report of this taxon in Mesoamerica.
  3. Additional new Mesoamerican distribution for this taxon.
  4. New name resulting from a reclassification proposed for this taxon.
  5. New name necessitated by the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
  6. New data on typification for this taxon.
  7. Additional synonymy for this taxon.
  8. Deleted synonymy for this taxon.
  9. Corrected synonymy for this taxon.
  10. Deleted Mesoamerican distribution for this taxon. The original distribution statement was based on a partial misidentification.
  11. Deleted taxon. The original report of this taxon for Mesoamerica was based on a misidentification.
  12. Newly recognized taxon, but the name, as far as known on the date listed below, had not yet been validly published.
  13. Additional general distribution for this taxon.
  14. New synonymy for this taxon.
  15. New author citation necessitated by the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature .
  16. Deleted distribution for this taxon . The original distribution statement was based on a misinterpretation of the locality data on the label of the voucher specimen.
  17. Through editorial error, data from the original manuscript was omitted from the printed volume and has now been restored.
  18. New literature citation necessitated by the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
  19. Correction of the orthography of the scientific name as mandated by the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
  20. Deleted general distribution for this taxon. The original distribution statement was based on a partial misidentification or unconfirmed report.

All other updates are simply incorporated into W3FM as needed.

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