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Western Australian Genera and Families of Flowering Plants
An Interactive Key


TD Macfarlane, L Watson and NG Marchant. WA Herbarium, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, 17 Dick Perry Ave, Technology Park, Western Precinct, Kensington WA 6151, Australia.


The WAGENERA project, led by Terry Macfarlane, Leslie Watson & Neville Marchant aimed to prepare a DELTA dataset of the genera and families of flowering plants (Angiosperms) of Western Australia. It was envisioned that this dataset would provide the content for an interactive key and scientific descriptions of the taxa. These would be delivered as components of Florabase, the Western Australian Herbarium’s flora information website.

The dataset currently includes the majority of genera and virtually all the families of Western Australian flowering plants. The exceptions are: Alstromeriaceae, Cyperaceae, Eremosynaceae, Mimosaceae, Myrsinaceae, Rosaceae, plus Asteraceae and Poaceae for which separate databases are already in preparation. In addition, there are various genera of included families that are not currently present because of recent taxonomic change.

This dataset is a complex one, in that it combines both family and generic descriptions into a single set. In order to facilitate a flexible range of identification tasks, we have broken the complete key into major subsets. The most generally useful is probably the Generic Key, which currently contains 1060 taxa. This includes 1053 generic and seven family-level entries. The latter act as surrogates for the genera in each family until such time as they are scored.

See also the Acknowledgements, References and Glossary.


Cite this key as:
“Macfarlane TD, Watson L and Marchant NG (2006 onwards). ‘Western Australian Genera and Families of Flowering Plants — an interactive key’. Western Australian Herbarium, Dept. of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Perth.”


The authors would like to thank the following people:

Data compilation and entry was carried out principally by Helen Coleman, Jan Gathe, Leslie Watson, Terena Lally, Sheila Hamilton-Brown, Ben Richardson and Amanda Spooner, with editing and updates by Terry Macfarlane. Judy Wheeler managed the data preparation in the early stages of the project.

This key is delivered using the DELTA coding system (Dallwitz 1980) and the Intkey software (Dallwitz, Paine and Zurcher 1993, 1995, 2000).

Seed funding for this project was provided by the Executive Director of the former Department of Conservation and Land Management (now the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions).

Production Team

The keys were refined and published in Florabase by Alex Chapman, Amanda Spooner and Ben Richardson with funding from the Department’s Saving Our Species initiative.

Testing of the key was carried out with great enthusiasm and with numerous suggestions for improvement by staff, volunteers and visitors at the Western Australian Herbarium under the supervision of Amanda Spooner. The testing team were Louise Biggs, James Carpenter, Skye Coffey, Robert Davis, Shana Gallant, Mike Hislop, Cheryl Parker, Gillian Smith and Kim Spence.

Character images were created by the artists Ellen Hickman, Martin Thompson and Pat Dundas, and Amanda Spooner assembled composite sets and prepared them for the key. Some images in this key were reproduced with permission of the Australian Biological Resources Study from the Families of Flowering Plants of Australia CD, drawn by Ian R.H.Telford (IRT) or Kevin R. Thiele (KRT).