Searching and browsing the collection


The Flora of Australia collection can be searched by using either of the Search functions on the homepage: the button in the middle of the screen, or the text field in the header. Taxa profiles can be located in three ways: (1) by scientific name, (2) by common name, and (3) as a text-based search. Each of these options can be selected after clicking on the ‘Search for profile(s)’ text.

The text field has an autocomplete function, so that up to ten possible taxon profiles are highlighted as text is added, and the list of possible taxa narrows as more text is added. The user is able to select any profile from the list of possible matches.

For some taxa, profile ‘shells’ have been created but not yet populated with information, and whether to include these shells in your search can be turned on or off by adding and removing the tick in the ‘Hide empty profile’ checkbox under the search field. Excluding these empty profiles is the default setting for all searches.

Note that the search function is literal in the way it interrogates the collection. For example, a search for Genus A will yield a ‘no result’ if there is no profile for Genus A, even though there may be hundreds of profiles for species in Genus A. Therefore, it is important to type as much of the taxon name as possible to locate the profile for that taxon.

Using the ‘dustbin’ icon clears the current search.


Clicking on the Browse button in the middle of the homepage or on the Browse text in the header takes you to a navigation pane on the left of the screen displaying ‘Browse by category’, and below this the taxonomic hierarchy and list of main botanical ranks  in the Flora of Australia. The ranks used in the Flora are: kingdom, phylum, class, subclass, order, family, genus, species, and subspecies/variety, and you can browse for profiles at these ranks. Numbers next to each of these ranks refer to the number of taxon profiles at each level. Note that other taxonomic ranks, such as other infraranks (e.g. suborder, subfamily, section) are not currently presented on the Flora of Australia platform, and a search for a profile at these ranks will not yield a result.

You can browse the classification as presented here to reach any taxon. For example, you may wish to browse all profiles within the subclass Pinidae. Clicking on this taxon will yield profiles within this subclass at the levels of family, genus, species and subspecies.

Beneath the ‘Browse by category’ navigation pane is a small search box containing ‘Name starting with….’. This is a quick way of reaching a particular taxon profile. For example, you may wish to browse for a family beginning with the letter T, but don’t want to scroll through all the families starting from A. Typing ‘T’ will take you to the first of the families beginning with T.

You can also ‘jump’ to a particular taxon in the hierarchy by typing the beginning of the name into the ‘Quick browse’ option at the bottom of the pane. The autocomplete function will highlight possible taxa as you type.

Once your target taxon is shown in the list, hovering the mouse over the taxon name will indicate a profile is present if a ‘hand’ icon is displayed. Mouse-clicking on such a name will then yield the profile.

Taxa of ‘Unknown Rank’