Sources Taxonomic Name Resolution Service - Sources
Taxonomic Name Resolution Service v4.0


The goal of TNRS is to provide the end user the ability to resolve their list of names against a number of sources. The team of developers at TNRS makes no attempt to determine the authority of the names, rather we provide the information that is available from these sources in a centralized location for matching of submitted names. Should you encounter issues with names that are lacking, please contact the source curators directly.

Table of Contents

Current taxonomic sources
Becoming a data provider
Who should become a data provider for the TNRS?
How do I share my taxonomy?
TNRS Simple Darwin Core export format

The following sources have been included in the 3.0 database for the TNRS:

Missouri Botanical Garden's Tropicos database is an electronic repository of nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data. Tropicos contains over 1.2 million names and thousands of taxonomic opinions based on the taxonomic literature and expert curatorial opinion.

Short name in TNRS database: tropicos
Date of access: 19 Dec 2014.

Citation: " [Internet]. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA. [Accessed 19 Dec 2014]. Available from:"

Global Compositae Checklist
The Global Compositae Checklist is an integrated database of nomenclatural and taxonomic information for the Asteraceae (also known as the Compositae), one of the largest plant famillies in the world.

Short name in TNRS database: GCC
Date of access: 21 Aug 2015.

Citation:"Flann, C, editor. Global Compositae Checklist [Internet]. 2009 - [Accessed: 21 Aug 2015]. Available from:"

Plants Database
USDA's Plants Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.

Short name in TNRS database: USDA
Date of access: 17 Jan 2015.

Citation:"USDA, NRCS. The PLANTS Database [Internet]. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC, USA. [Accessed: 17 Jan 2015]. Available from:"

The National Center for Biotechnology Information's Taxonomy database contains the names and phylogenetic lineages of more than 160,000 organisms that have molecular data in the NCBI databases. Access to NCBI taxonomy is provided for users wishing to match their names to taxa represented by sequences in GenBank. However, due to the large number of missing names and non-standard (informal) names representing accession codes, we discourage users form standardizing their names according to NCBI.

Short name in TNRS database: NCBI
Date of access: 25 Oct 2011.

Citation: "Federhen S. The Taxonomy Project. 9 Oct 2002 [Updated 13 Aug 2003]. In: McEntyre J., Ostell J., editors. The NCBI Handbook [Internet]. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Bethesda, MD, USA. [Accessed: 25 Oct 2011]. Available from:"

The Plant List is a working list of all known plant species. It aims to be comprehensive for species of Vascular plant (flowering plants, conifers, ferns and their allies) and of Bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).

Short name in TNRS database: TPL
Date of access: 19 Aug 2015.

Citation: "The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; [Accessed: 19 Aug 2015]. Available from:"

Note: The version of TPL in the TNRS does not contain Asteraceae or Fabaceae. Users need to include GCC and ILDIS as additional sources if they are using TPL as a source and want to include all families. GCC and ILDIS are set as default sources as are TPL, Tropicos and USDA.

The International Legume Database and Information Service is an international project which maintains a database of plants in the family Fabaceae (Leguminosae) and provides services to scientists and other people interested in these plants.

Short name in TNRS database: ILDIS
Date of access: 21 Aug 2015.

Citation: " [Accessed: 21 Aug 2015]. Available from:"

The TNRS periodically updates the information from these sources. In addition, we encourage users to suggest additional sources of high quality digitized taxonomic information, in particular monographic taxonomy at the family level. Ongoing support for this effort will continue beyond our 3.0 release.

Becoming a data provider

Who should become a data provider for the TNRS?

Curators of databases of high quality plant taxonomy (taxonomy for any group of organisms goverened by the ICN, or International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants) are encouraged to make their names and synonymy available via the TNRS. Doing so will make it easier for researchers to standardize their names according to your taxonomy. We welcome both synonymized regional checklists (such as USDA Plants) and monographic treatments of species within families or other higher taxa (for example, the Global Compositae Checklist). Potential data providers should begin by contacting our support staff at

How do I share my taxonomy?

TNRS staff will work with you to develop the most effective method of sharing your taxonomic information. Exposing your data via the TNRS requires that we import your names and synonymy to a local database optimized for rapid access by our name resolution search engine. Although we can perform one-time imports, for actively curated database, regularly schedule ingests using a web service or live database link are the best way to ensure up-to-date representation of your data.

TNRS Simple Darwin Core export format

The simplest way to share your taxonomic information with the TNRS is as an export structured according to the TNRS Simple Darwin Core format. Taxonomic data formatted in this way can be added immediately to the TNRS database using our existing Darwin Core import utility. Detailed instructions on how to prepare you data in this format are provided in the document TNRS Simplified Darwin Core format.