World Umbellifer Database

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

The World Umbellifer Database has been developed at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh as a taxonomic tool for systematic studies in the Umbelliferae (Apiaceae). It was created in 1992 from an electronic output from Index Kewensis, then held on an internal network at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and other sources of TDWG (Taxonomic Database Working Group) data standards (including geographic regions). An initial cleaning up of the data was carried out, so that all genera were authenticated, generic synonomy incorporated, and authories of plant names were corrected to conform to the standard abbreviations given by Brummitt & Powell Authors of Plant Names, RBG Kew. This resulted in a semi-clean dataset of some 15,000 taxon names incorporating a concensus calssification for genera, but with all names below this rank flagged as provisional. Since then the data have been much enhanced and supplemented with information generated in the production of the Umbelliferae accounts for the Flora of Bhutan, and the Flora of China

From a nomenclatural start, the dataset has grown to incorporate plant records (herbarium specimens, literature records, etc.), vernacular names, bibliographic information, typifications, uses, and some images. Additional taxa missing from the original Index Kewensis export (infra specific taxa and recent descriptions) are added when they are encountered, and a concensus calssification is incorporated as floristic and monographic work  progresses. Currently the database has a complete nomenclature for the East Himalayan region, the Indian subcontinent and the People's Republic of China, and incomplete data for some other areas (notably Europe and Turkey). The long term aim is to update all the names in the system and produce a world checklist for Umbelliferae with associated information. The World Umbellifer Database is recorded in the IOPI Database of Plant Databases, and there is part of  Species 2000: indexing the world's known species programme.

Database system
The World Umbellifer Database is held in the RBGE PANDORA database system. This DOS-based application is written in Advanced Revelation, and has a highly relational structure. PANDORA has undergone several recent development upgrades, and is scheduled to move onto a Windows/GUI platform. 

English (with complete diacritical marks). 

The dataset is worldwide in coverage, with the following statistics: updated 1st July 1999

15,900 plant names* (of which 32% have been incorporated in a classification)
1,900 plant names verified against the original publication (12%  of names)
1,000 plant names with type information (6% of names)
4,400 authority name combinations
300 authenticated bibliographic references
2,000 people records
5,600 plant records (3,600 herbarium specimens and 2,000 literature records)
8,200 determinations
8,400 localities in the gazetteer
100 vernacular names
*This figure is not that much greater than the number of original IK entries used in the foundation. However, it should be noted that many of the original entries were duplicates and have been deleted.

Supervisor and Contributors
Mark Watson (Supervisor), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Publications arising from this work
Mark F. Watson, 1998. An Internet searchable dataset of a Gazetteer of East Himalayan Plant Collecting Localities.

Mark F. Watson, 1999. An Internet dataset of a Preliminary Itinerary for Jean Marie Delavay in Yunnan, China.

Mark F. Watson, 1999. An Internet interactive account of the Umbelliferae for the Flora of Bhutan.

Mark F. Watson, 1999. An Internet searchable dataset of Umbelliferae Nomeclatural Information.