Registration of plant fossil names


XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen prepared ground for registration of plant names as being part of valid publication including other nomenclatural acts. The process was initiated far before in 1987 at the XIV International Botanical Congress in Berlin by W. Greuter and colleagues, but was not accepted. New initiative was setup at XVIII IBC in Melbourne 2011 when a Special Committee on Registration of Algal and Plant Names (including fossils) was established with a task focused on registering plant names using a procedure analogous to that for fungal names agreed upon in Melbourne and included as Art. 42 in the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Turland & al., 2018). Basic information about this initiative was published in a Report of the Special Committee on Registration of Algal and Plant Names (Barkworth et al., 2016). XIX International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen gave green light, but did not agree on its mandatory usage. This process should be completed during time to the next International Botanical Congress.

Due to indisputable process in which the registration of plant names is approaching we support the palaeobotanical community to start with the registration procedure, although it is presently voluntary.

The registration is possible via two portals: PFNR based in Prague and IFPNI based in Moscow. In this moment it is available on addresses PFNR ( and IFPNI ( who agreed on cooperation in data exchange and backup.

Plant Fossil Names Registry was developed, is based and maintained in the National Museum Prague since 2014 under the auspices of the International Organisation of Palaeobotany (IOP). An initial version of the site was made available to members of the Nomenclature Committee on Fossils in December 2014. The present modified version is in operation since June 2018.

For those who hesitate to use the registry there is a short information how to use it

Before sending a manuscript to the editorial office one should think about all nomenclatural acts done in the manuscript. These are not only new name (or other nomenclatural novelties, as new combinations etc.), but also typification and others (see ICN).

For successful registration it is necessary to be registered and to have an account.

When signed in one can start with registration of nomenclatural acts (e.g. a new plant name).

There are three major acts one can do:

  1. Registration of new (i.e. not yet published) name, combination, name at new rank or replacement name (i.e. nomenclatural novelties).
  2. Registration of new (i.e. not yet published) typifications.
  3. Expansion of the database (for those who would like to register earlier published nomenclatural acts). Here it is also possible to register earlier published publications and authorities.

The registration takes place in two steps.

First step is registration of the new (yet unpublished) nomenclatural to get the registration number PFN0000000000. This PFNR number should be added to the manuscript. This part is not public and all data can be changed during MS processing if necessary. These data are available only to the account owner who made this registration and to the editors of the database.

The second step comes when the paper is published. Then the missing data in registration sheet should be added and completed. Since that, only editors can do any changes in this record. Editors check if there are no apparent mistakes (e.g. publication in non-existing journal etc.) and confirm this record for publication. After that this record is published on the database website and is visible to anyone.

See also our more detailed guide for name and typification registration.


Barkworth, M. E., Watson, M., Barrie, F. R., Belyaeva, I. V., Chung, R.C.K., Dašková, J., Davidse, G., Dönmez, A., Doweld, A. B., Dressler, S., Flann, C., Gandhi, K., Geltman, D., Glen, H. F., Greuter, W., Head, M. J., Jahn, R., Janarthanam, M. K., Katinas, L., Kirk, P. M., Klazenga, N., Kusber, W.-H., Kvaček, J., Malécot, V., Mann, D. G., Marhold, K., Nagamasu, H., Nicolson, N., Paton, A., Patterson, D. J., Price, M. J., Prud’homme Van Reine, W. F., Schneider, C. W., Sennikov, A., Smith, G., F., Stevens, P. F., Yang, Z.-L., Zhang, X.-C., Zuccarello, G. C. 2016. Proposals to provide for registration of new names and nomenclatural acts. Taxon, 65(3): 656–658. PDF
Turland, N. J., Wiersema, J. H., Barrie, F. R., Greuter, W., Hawksworth, D. L., Herendeen, P. S., Knapp, S., Kusber, W.-H., Li, D.-Z., Marhold, K., May, T. W., McNeill, J., Monro, A. M., Prado, J., Price, M. J. & Smith, G. F. (eds.) 2018: International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Shenzhen Code) adopted by the Nineteenth International Botanical Congress Shenzhen, China, July 2017. Regnum Vegetabile 159. Glashütten: Koeltz Botanical Books. DOI