Western Australian Flora Statistics

Current Statistics - Vascular Flora - June 2013

Table 1. Analysis of the size of vascular plant divisions for various categories of name
Category Pteridophytes Gymnosperms Monocots Dicots Total
Total names A 142 39 3789 16591 20561
Non-current names B 34 14 1131 4730 5909
Current names C 108 25 2658 11861 14652
Species with infraspecies K 8 0 147 958 1113
Current taxa D 100 25 2511 10903 13539
Current alien taxa    8 8 362 854 1232
Current native taxa    92 17 2149 10049 12307
Current species E 98 25 2352 9933 12408
Current alien species    8 8 354 842 1212
Current native species    90 17 1998 9091 11196
Manuscript names F 0 0 24 73 97
Phrase names G 0 0 264 1143 1407
Published species H 98 25 2089 8842 11054
Published alien species I 8 8 354 840 1210
Published native species J 90 17 1735 8002 9844
Named hybrids L 0 0 27 33 60
Un-named hybrids    0 0 2 18 20

Data sourced on 1st June 2013. Compare with the 2012 figures.
The terms taxa here refers to entities at species level and below; and species refers only to those entities at species rank.

A - total number of vascular plant names in the database
B - number of synonymous, excluded or misapplied names (ie. plant names no longer in current use, at least in WA)
C - number of currently accepted plant names (ie. includes the species-level name when infra-species exist)
D - number of currently accepted taxa (ie. excludes the species-level name when infra-species of that taxon exist)
E - number of currently accepted species (ie. only the species-level names, excludes any infra-species names)
F - number of proposed but unpublished taxa (ie. informal names proposed on specimens or in manuscripts)
G - number of assigned but unpublished taxa (ie. informal names assigned to specimens for further analysis)
H - number of formally published species names (ie. formally published names described in botanical literature)
I - number of published naturalised alien species (ie. formally published names of weed species occurring in WA)
J - number of published species native to Western Australia (ie. formally published names of native WA species)
K - number of species with subordinate current taxa (subspecies, varieties and formas).
L - number of current names recorded in the Census denoting taxa which are named hybrids or un-named hybrid formulae.

2013 Highlights

For the vascular plants, a brief comparison of the 2013 data with 2012 data shows:

  • the addition of 283 vascular plant names to the Census of Western Australian Plants database;
  • there are 58 additional taxa recognised as occurring in the State: 50 native taxa and 8 naturalised taxa;
  • the number of published species rose by 105 to 11,054, including 97 native species and 8 naturalised species;
  • a significant decrease in the number (-94) of manuscript names in current use, down to 97, continuing the trend of the last 5 years, due either to their formal publication or their conversion to phrase names as part of the Australian Plant Census project;
  • a considerable increase (+41) in the number of phrase names in current use, up to 1,407;
  • therefore, for the third year in succession, there has been a decrease (-53) in the number of putative taxa yet to be researched and published, from 1,557 in 2012 to 1,504.

Other Collections Statistics

Data sourced on Friday, 7 June 2013. Other core statistics often required for citation in various works include the number of:

  • specimens now held in the WA Herbarium Specimen Database (WAHERB) = 742,276
  • plant names now held in the WA Herbarium Census of WA Plants Database (WACENSUS) = 23,097
  • accessions now held in the WA Herbarium Library Database (WALIB) = 23,741
  • images now held in the WA Herbarium Image Collection = 37,885
  • composite images illustrating taxa in FloraBase = 6,970
Compiler’s Note

While the current contents are manual concatenations of census data, or static tables drawn from recent published works, it is intended that future versions of this page will contain live flora statistics drawn directly from the constantly maintained datasets held at the Western Australian Herbarium. At that time we would also seek to disseminate the standard logic behind the accurate calculation of these statistics. In this way, not only will the latest figures be available at all times, but the correct methodology for calculating and applying those figures will become better understood.

Compiled by Alex Chapman; last updated on 4 June 2013.

Related content


'Green's Census'

For those familiar with Green, J.W. (1985) Census of the vascular plants of Western Australia 2nd ed. and subsequent supplements, the following PDF tables provide further details corresponding to row H. Data also sourced on 1st June 2013.

Did you notice?

There is, in general, a diminishing relationship between figures in subsequent rows of the table, as figures in each category are subtracted from the ones above.
    Eg. in each column: A - B = C.

Having trouble deciding...

... the most appropriate data for your purpose? The highlighted rows are the recommended figures if you need:

  • to cite the actual number of known vascular plant entities in WA D, or
  • a conservative estimate of the number of well-documented vascular plant species H.