Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (9): 23177.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2023177

• Special Feature: Provincial Plant Species Cataloging: Part III • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A dataset on inventory and geographical distributions of higher plants in Guangdong, China

Zhuqiu Song1,2,3, Wen Ye4, Shiyong Dong1,2,3, Zichao Jin1,2,3, Xingjie Zhong1,2,3, Zhen Wang5, Buyun Zhang1,2,3, Yechun Xu6, Wenli Chen3,7,8, Shijin Li1,2,3, Gang Yao9, Zhoufeng Xu1,2,3, Shuai Liao1,2,3, Yihua Tong1,2,3, Youpai Zeng1,2,3, Yunbao Zeng10, Yousheng Chen1,2,3,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Plant Resources Conservation and Sustainable Utilization, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
    2. South China National Botanical Garden, Guangzhou 510650
    3. State Key Laboratory of Plant Diversity and Specialty Crops, Beijing 100093
    4. School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361005
    5. School of Architecture and Art Design, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan, Hunan 411201
    6. Environmental Horticulture Research Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou 510640
    7. Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    8. China National Botanical Garden, Beijing 100093
    9. College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642
    10. Guangdong Xinfeng Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Huizhou, Guangdong 516100
  • Received:2023-06-01 Accepted:2023-08-08 Online:2023-09-20 Published:2023-10-13
  • Contact: *E-mail:


Guangdong Province has a rich diversity of higher plants, ranking it sixth in China. This study compiles an updated dataset of higher plants with county-level records in Guangdong Province by drawing from sources including floras, illustrated plant books, nature reserve plant checklists, academic papers, dissertations, specimens, photos from the Plant Photo Bank of China, and our own field surveys. The resulting dataset details distributions of various taxa in specific counties and cities. As of July 2023, this dataset contains 8,106 taxa from 374 families and 2,284 genera of higher plants in Guangdong. Native wild higher plants account for 6,864 taxa from 350 families and 1,828 genera, where bryophytes (including hornworts, liverworts and mosses) makeup 865 taxa from 96 families and 272 genera, lycopods and pteridophytes account for 642 taxa from 36 families and 123 genera, gymnosperms total 35 taxa from 7 families and 17 genera, and angiosperms makeup 5,322 taxa from 211 families and 1,416 genera. In addition, 17 species are here reported new to the Guangdong Province. The families with the largest number of species are Poaceae, Fabaceae, Orchidaceae, Cyperaceae, Rubiaceae, Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Lauraceae and Gesneriaceae. This dataset also includes 323 invasive species from 58 families and 204 genera, 257 species of naturalized plants from 62 families and 206 genera, and 662 species of common cultivated plants from 129 families and 441 genera. Furthermore, this study provides a list of higher plants with excluded and dubious records; this list encompasses includes 905 species from 182 families and 545 genera. This dataset will provide foundational information and a framework for the second edition of Flora of Guangdong.

Database/Dataset Profile

Title A dataset on inventory and geographical distributions of higher plants in Guangdong, China
Authors Zhuqiu Song, Wen Ye, Shiyong Dong, Zichao Jin, Xingjie Zhong, Zhen Wang, Buyun Zhang, Yechun Xu, Wenli Chen, Shijin Li, Gang Yao, Zhoufeng Xu, Shuai Liao, Yihua Tong, Youpai Zeng, Yunbao Zeng, Yousheng Chen
Corresponding author Yousheng Chen (
Time range 1923-2023.7
Geographical scope Guangdong Province
Spatial resolution District (County)
File size 6.45 Mb
Data format *.xlsx
Data link
Database/Dataset composition The dataset consists of 1 data file with 72,279 items (rows) and 20 fields (columns) as following: number, categories, sequence number of family, Chinese name of family, Latin name of family, Chinese name of genus, Latin name of genus, Chinese name of species, Latin name of species, author, rank notes, growth status, county-level distribution, literature, literature notes, specimen vouchers, endemic and protected plants, Latin names in The Provincial Red List of Higher Plants in Guangdong (2022), Latin names in Flora of China, and Latin names in Catalogue of Life China: 2022 Annual Checklist.

Key words: Guangdong, higher plants, inventory, plant diversity, county distribution