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The internationally renowned List of Names of Perennials contains the preferred botanical names and common synonyms and trade names of almost 24,000 herbaceous perennials available in Europe and largely also USA. The prime goal is to achieve worldwide uniformity in the nomenclature of these plants. Using the preferred botanical name is important, to simplify communication between all partners in the production chain. This list is officially recognized by ENA (European Nurserystock Association) as the standard European publication for the nomenclature of nursery products. Furthermore, it has also been recognized as the official standard publication by the ISU (Internationale Stauden Union) and the PPA (Perennial Plant Association – in the U.S.A.).
The challenge faced by this list of names is to be accepted both by the scientific community and the nursery business. On the one hand, the list must comply with internationally agreed scientific conventions, but on the other hand, it must be user-friendly for commercial purposes. A new edition of the list appears every five years. It incorporates the names of new products and a few urgent corrections. Every ten years, all broadly accepted taxonomic revisions are incorporated. This was previously done in the 2005 edition. This 2016 edition again includes name changes resulting from taxonomical revisions.
To update the list, many new reference works have been consulted. An elaborate list of recent literature is included in the back of List of Names of Woody Plants. The background information and justification for each addition or change mentioned above has been recorded in a database. Furthermore, the new guidelines in the "International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants" (ICNCP), which appeared in 2009, have been followed.