Authors of Plant Names

Authors of Plant Names (Brummitt & Powell) by Richard Kenneth Brummitt and C. E. Powell, 1992, is a print database of accepted standardized abbreviations used for citing the author who validly published the name of a taxon.[1][2] The database is now maintained online at the International Plant Names Index.[3] The book provides recommended abbreviations for authors' names that help to distinguish authors with the same surname when giving the full name of a taxon. It deals authors who validly published the name of a flowering plant, gymnosperm, fern, bryophyte, algae, fungi or fossil plants.[1][3] Prior to its publication in 1992, many abbreviations for authors to be cited could be found in Taxonomic literature. A selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. by F. A. Stafleu & R. F. Cowen, 1976-1988.[4]

The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) governs the naming of these organisms, and suggests that a taxon be fully identified by its name and the author, but does not require that abbreviations be used when citing an author for a taxon. When abbreviations are used, the ICN recommends that Brummitt & Powell’s Authors of plant names (1992), and the websites, the International Plant Names Index ( and the Index Fungorum ( can be used to find "unambiguous" abbreviations.[5] Brummitt & Powell may not be international in scope, and it may be missing abbreviations for authors who validly published taxa during some time spans.[1] A full name, rather than an abbreviation, may also make it easier to locate the original publication for the taxon name.[1]


  1. Jones, Stanley D.; Wipff, Joseph K.; Montgomery, Paul M. (1997). Vascular Plants of Texas: A Comprehensive Checklist Including Synonymy, Bibliography, and Index. University of Texas Press. pp. 5–6. ISBN 978-0-292-72962-9. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  2. Davis, Elisabeth B.; Schmidt, Diane (1996). Guide to information sources in the botanical sciences (2. ed.). Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited. p. 188. ISBN 1563080753.
  3. "Authors of Plant Names Where is the Brummitt & Powell "Authors of Plant Names" database?". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  4. Biodiversity Research in the Horn of Africa Region: Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on the Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Copenhagen: Carlsberg Academy. 1999.
  5. McNeill, J.; Barrie, F. R.; Buck, W. R.; Demoulin, V., eds. (2012), International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code), Article 46 (electronic ed.), Bratislava: International Association for Plant Taxonomy, retrieved 2012-12-20

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