How to Search FloraBase

This is a general help page on querying the name, descriptive and specimen data available in FloraBase. This page covers the protocols of querying followed by a list and explanation of each query field.

Name Quick Search

In the top right-hand corner of each page on FloraBase is a small query box for simple access to our information based on any of family, genus, species, infraspecies, authors or common names. You don’t need to know what part of the name you might be querying on, just type it in and hit return or click on the ‘go’ button. For more specific searches where you can specify your query exactly, use Advanced Search. The search criteria are described below.

Advanced Search

Querying our databases through FloraBase takes two forms: that of selecting from drop down boxes e.g. in the Flowering Time box or the Conservation Status box, and that of a textual query where the word or words specifically sought are typed into the text query box such as the Soil Type field.

Drop down boxes

Make your query choice from the available selection.

Textual query

Any single word in a long text field, e.g. the Soil Type field, can be a query term without pattern matching being required, e.g. typing red in this field would retrieve records containing red clay, or red sand.

Entering more than one word, e.g. red loam will retrieve all records containing these terms; e.g. shallow loam over red clay

To query for a specific string of more than one word, use quotation marks, e.g. typing "red loam" to retrieve all records containing the contiguous terms red loam over laterite.

Mixed queries

These are allowed eg, to query for all taxa growing around granite outcrops, type granite in the Soil Type field and select outcrops from habitat drop down box.


The text is case insensitive, e.g. typing proteaceae or PrOtEaCeAe in the Family field will both return any records with Proteaceae in the Family field of our database.


Parentheses are not able to be used in formulating queries and should be ignored when formulating search criteria.

Multiple words

To find a contiguous string of words for which you want, enter the words with spaces. For example, enter red loam to retrieve all records containing the contiguous terms; e.g. red loam over laterite and red loamy sand, but not shallow loam over red clay or red sandy loam

Using the asterisk

To find all species with the root march, enter march* in the Species field. This will retrieve species names including marchantii and marchantiorum.

If you are unsure of the correct spelling for a textual query, e.g. laterite or lateritic, in the Soil Type field, enter the root followed by an asterisk, e.g. laterit* This will retrieve records for all the taxa with the words laterite or lateritic.

Matching a word by text at its end

To match a word by the text at its end use the asterisk at the beginning of the value, e.g. to find all taxa published in 1811 enter *1811 in the Reference field.

No Matches

If a query returns no matches, try to broaden your search criteria, or use different criteria that might achieve the same end result.

Explanation of the query fields

The plant’s family name.
The plant’s generic epithet (name).
The plant’s specific epithet (name).
The plant’s infraspecific epithet (name).
The name of the person who published the plant’s name.
Common Name
The name commonly given to the plant.
Conservation Code
The conservation code of the plant.
Indicates the currently accepted name for the plant as decided by the Western Australian Herbarium. You can choose to display information about names that are current, non-current or both.
An alien plant is one not native to Western Australia, but may be cultivated or growing in the wild. This field returns data on native (no) or alien (yes) taxa or both (when the field is left blank).
In FloraBase we track plant names that are yet to be formally published in the scientific literature. In this field you can choose to display taxa with manuscript names (manuscript; names awaiting publication), or phrase names (phrase name; recently recognised segregates), or all informal names (any).
The unique number given to the plant name by the Western Australian Herbarium.
The primary literature reference for the publication of the plant name.
To query for names with associated images (see the photograph primer for more detail).
Flower Colour
The colour of the flower as recorded by the collector.
Flowers In
A range of months in which the plant is known to flower.
Sites where the plant is found e.g. dunes, winter-wet areas, disturbed land.
The growth form of the plant.
Soil Type
Including soil type (e.g. sand, clay, loam) soil colour and rock type (e.g. laterite, granite).

The following GIS layers are provided in FloraBase, and up to 5 can be queried at once using the drop-down boxes provided.

  • Beard’s Provinces. The phytogeographic regions published in the 1970’s by John S. Beard.
  • Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia 6.1 regions. See our IBRA primer.
  • Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia 6.1 sub-regions.
  • Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia 4.0.
  • Local Government Areas. Australian local government areas.

Choose the name of a layer from the first drop-down box, and then one of the features it contains from the second drop-down box.

In the third drop-down box, choose either “All” or “Any”. Choosing “All” will return taxa known to occur in all of the regions you provided, while choosing “Any” will return taxa known to occur in at least one of the regions you provided.

Our Mapping Primer provides more information about the maps displayed in FloraBase.

The name of the person who collected the specimen(s).
Collector’s Number
The number the collector applied to the specimen.
Sheet Number
The barcode number applied to the specimen by the Western Australian Herbarium.
The textual location of the specimen provided by the collector.
The Australian state in which the specimen was found; TER is Other Territories, EA is extra-Australian.
The acronym of the herbarium from which specimens originated.
The acronym of herbaria which hold a duplicate of the specimen.