International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT)

The International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) promotes an understanding of plant biodiversity, facilitates international communication of research between botanists, and oversees matters of uniformity and stability in plant names. The IAPT was founded on July 18, 1950 at the Seventh International Botanical Congress in Stockholm, Sweden. Currently, the IAPT headquarters is located in Vienna, Austria. Its current president, since 2011, is Vicki Funk of Washington, D.C., U.S.A. (updates provided by Karol Marhold, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Both the taxonomic journal Taxon and the series Regnum Vegetabile are published by the IAPT. The latter series includes the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, the Index Nominum Genericorum, and Index Herbarorium.

IAPT is dedicated to organismal biodiversity the extent, recognition, organisation, evolution, and naming of plants and fungi, both living and fossil. To those wishing to be at the forefront of these issues, membership in IAPT will be rewarding. The IAPT maintains the International Bureau for Plant Taxonomy and Nomenclature, and engages in a wide range of activities consistent with its focus.

IAPT is responsible for the establishment and functioning of inter-Congress nomenclature committees and for the organization and execution of the nomenclature sessions at each International Botanical Congress.

July 18, 1950

Headquarters: Bratislava, Slovakia


Purpose of IAPT

The IAPT's primary purpose is the promotion and understanding of biodiversity—the discovery, naming, classification, and systematics of plants—for both living and fossil plants. Additionally, it promotes the study and conservation of plant biodiversity, and works to raise awareness of the general public to this issue. The organization also facilitates international cooperation among botanists working in the fields of plant systematics, taxonomy, and nomenclature. This is accomplished in part through sponsorship of meetings and publication of resources, such as reference publications and journals.

“IAPT was founded in 1950 as a not-for-profit organisation for the purposes of publication of a periodical (Taxon) dealing with activities of the association and with objects of general importance for plant taxonomy, the publication of books and indices of utility for plant taxonomists (Regnum Vegetabile), the establishment and maintenance of committees for specific taxonomic and nomenclatural purposes, and the organization of international symposia on problems of plant systematics.” The IAPT also seeks to achieve uniformity and stability in plant names. It accomplishes this through the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and through the oversight of the International Bureau for Plant Taxonomy and Nomenclature.

Publications and resources

One way in which the IAPT encourages communication among botanists is through its several publications, including the journal Taxon, the series Regnum Vegetabile, and the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. It also maintains several taxonomy-related databases available on-line.


Taxon is the quarterly journal of the IAPT. It has been published since 1951 by the International Bureau for Plant Taxonomy and Nomenclature. Although the journal is "devoted to systematic and evolutionary biology with emphasis on botany", it has been criticized for focusing overly on nomenclature and less on the principles and advancements made in the field of plant systematics. The journal also publishes nomenclatural proposals for the Nomenclature Section of the International Union of Biological Sciences.

Regnum Vegetabile

Regnum Vegetabile is a published series of books on topics of interest to plant taxonomists. Many of the volumes are literature surveys or monographs in the area of plant systematics. There are several volumes of general use:
  • International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (Vol. 146, 2006) The ICBN is a set of rules and recommendations dealing with the formal names that are given to plants. The current edition is known as the "Vienna Code", as it was drafted in 2005 at the Seventeeth International Botanical Congress in Vienna, Austria.
  • International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, 7th edition (Vol. 144, 2005) Companion to the ICBN, this volume sets forth rules regarding the names of plant cultivars.
  • Index Nominum Genericorum (Vols. 100-102 & 113) An index of all published generic names covered by the ICBN, including the place of publication and information about the type species. The index is prepared in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. An electronic version is available online in draft form.
  • Index Herbariorum, 7th edition (Vol. 106, 1981) A directory and guide to the herbaria of the world, including contact information, abbreviation codes, and important collections located in each herbarium. This publication is also available online.
  • International Directory of Botanical Gardens (Vol. 95, 1977) A directory to botanical gardens and arboreta around the world.

The series includes many additional volumes of interest to specialists in specific subdisciplines of botany, in addition to the ones listed above.


In addition to electronic versions of its print publications, the IAPT maintains the following:
"Names in Current Use" - A database of scientific names of extant botanical genera.