Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 1011-1020.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021122

• 2020 New Taxa Collection • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Annual report of new taxa and new names for Chinese plants in 2020

Cheng Du1,*(), Jun Liu2, Wen Ye3, Shuai Liao4, Binjie Ge1, Bing Liu5, Jinshuang Ma6   

  1. 1 Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Shanghai Chenshan Plant Science Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201602
    2 Zhejiang University Library, Hangzhou 310027
    3 South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
    4 School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241
    5 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    6 Beijing Botanical Garden, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2021-04-01 Accepted:2021-05-11 Online:2021-08-20 Published:2021-06-29
  • Contact: Cheng Du


Aim: China has the richest and most diverse flora in the northern hemisphere, with more than 37,098 accepted species of higher plants throughout its vast territory. Each year more than 200 new species from China have been described, but these data have not been updated in international databases expediently. To meet this need, it is necessary to produce an annual report on new taxa, name changes, and latest statuses of higher plants in China.

Methods: We collected information about new taxa and name changes for Chinese higher plants by searching 231 journals and books and 405 articles published in 66 journals and 2 books. We compiled the information and checked the scientific name, author, location, type specimen, and additional relevant information for each species.

Results: In 2020, a total of 359 new taxa of higher plants described from China were reported, including 21 new genera, 312 new species, 6 new subspecies, 14 new varieties, and 6 new forms, as well as 217 new combinations and names at new ranks and 11 new replacement names. In addition, 48 plants were new records for China, 85 names were determined as synonyms of 65 taxa, 14 names were revised, lectotypes or neotypes were designated for 147 names, 2 species were rediscovered, and 3 species were excluded from China. These newly described species belong to Marchantiophyta (3 species), Bryophyta (3 species), Pteridophyta (6 species), Gymnospermae (1 new nothospecies), and Magnoliophyta (299 species). A total of 86 new species were published with detailed molecular evidence, and 78 new species were evaluated as threatened species according to IUCN standards. Four southwestern provinces, including Yunnan, Xizang, Guangxi, and Sichuan, were the most important sources of new discoveries, accounting for two thirds of the total number of new species published in China. Yunnan, Hainan, Taiwan, Guangxi, and Zhejiang had the highest density of newly discovered species.

Conclusions: In 2020 in China, a net of 294 (0.79% of the total number) new plant taxa were recorded and 313 (0.84% of the total number) plant names were changed. 2020 was undoubtedly a fruitful year in plant taxonomic research, with the largest increase in the number of species discovered, the number of taxonomic revisions made, and the number of articles published on Chinese higher plants since 2000.

Key words: higher plants, new taxa, new name changes, China