Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Matelea variifolia

Catalogue of Seed Plants of the West Indies

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The present Catalogue represents a compilation of botanical names of all seed plants documented to occur in the Bahamas Archipelago, the Greater and the Lesser Antilles as defined on our previous section.  This checklist constitutes the first modern attempt to account for all the seed plants of the islands.  The task is by no means completed since an accurate list requires in-depth knowledge of taxonomic groups in the area.  Taxa recognition is based on expert opinion, and when that knowledge is not available we have followed in many instances Kew’s World Checklist, IPNI, and for the legumes ILDIS. The total taxa (species and infra species level) estimate for the area covered on our checklist is 13,033 including exotics and commonly cultivated plants.  The total number of native taxa however, is ca. 11,050 of which 7,950 are endemic to the archipelago or part of it, contributing to a 72% of endemism for the archipelago.  The following table (Table 2) contains estimates for different taxonomical levels found on the different islands or groups of islands.  


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