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About this site

e-Monocot is a NERC funded consortium between Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Oxford University and the Natural History Museum.


Grant no's 279981, 279984 & 279970. Period, Nov./Dec. 2010 to Oct./Nov. 2013.




Pyrolirion albicans (Amaryllidaceae) in arid habitat in coastal Peru. Photographer Oliver Whaley.


eMonocot aims to create a global online resource for monocot plants. It will provide a focus for taxonomists working on monocots and will help people discover information about monocots by providing tools for identification, up-to-date checklists, descriptions and links to other resources.



eMonocot builds upon existing collaborations and projects within European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT) such as Palmweb and Scratchpads, in addition to CATE (including CATE-Araceae) and GrassBase – The online world grass flora. Content from these taxonomic resources and eMonocot scratchpads are aggregated together in the eMonocot portal.


When complete, eMonocot will:

  1. Enable the identification of monocot plants anywhere in the world (monocots are 20% of all flowering plants)

  2. Provide a wealth of information about monocot species, genera and families

  3. Address separately the needs of different users, from professional taxonomists through ecologists and conservation biologists to gardeners and the interested public

  4. Link together monocot taxonomists to enhance their productivity, particularly those working in smaller institutions without access to large collections and libraries

  5. Provide a model for the web taxonomy of the rest of the plant kingdom and for animal groups



eMonocot Blog

A tree with “dragons blood” running beneath its bark, a rare mountain top
snowdrop and a critically-endangered orchid were among more than 60 new
species discovered by botanists in the past year.  Read the complete story here.


The eMonocot Juncaceae scratchpad ( is now our most complete scratchpad after another 200 descriptions were added by Content team members Odile and Lucy today. Almost all taxa in the scratchpads now complete with a taxon descriptions. Many thanks to publishers ABRS for giving us kind permission to reproduce the content from their series of monographs on the family. Now all we need to make the site look great are some nice photos...contributions welcomed!

Using Scratchpads it is now possible to download a custom dictionary for Microsoft Office. This allows you to spellcheck the scientific names of the organisms you study.

The custom dictionary can be downloaded by going to Structure > Taxonomy and then clicking 'Settings' for the vocabulary you would like to download a dictionary of. Clicking the "Download Dictionary' tab will start the download of the *.dic file.

Instructions for installing the custom dictionary can be found here (follow Method 2 from point 2).

Simon Mayo, Laurence Livermore and I have just returned from a trip to Brazil where we ran a series of meetings at the Instituto de Botânica in Sao Paulo, and a scratchpads training workshop in Joinville as part of the 63º Congresso Nacional de Botânica. The focus of the workshop were the families Eriocaulaceae and Xyridaceae and we were lucky enough to be joined by some of the world's foremost taxonomic experts in these families.

Check out the resulting scratchpads at and Content from these scratchpads is now already feeding into the eMonocot Portal at

Participating at the workshop for Eriocaulaceae were: Livia Echternacht, Marcelo Trovó, Ana Maria Giulietti Harley, Sylvia Phillips, Thomas Stuetzel, Paulo Sano, Lara Parra, and Vera Scatena.

Participating on behalf of the Xyridaceae community were Maria das Graças Lapa Wanderley, Lisa Campbell, Gisele Oliveira Silva and Juliana Santos Guedes.


Presentations from the TDWG 2012 Annual Conference are now available on the TDWG Website

Our largest training workshop (in terms of different research communities) to date has been organised by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and hosted at Kirstenbosch on 9-11th of October 2012. Participants included researchers from South Africa, Ethiopia, Spain and the UK, working on various families: Sedges, Grasses, Hypoxidaceae, Asparagaceae subfamily Scilloideae and the Aloes, day lilies & grass trees family.

Time was profitably spent on
• an overview of the project's vision and approach to e-taxonomy, by Paul Wilkin,
• practical training sessions involving all delegates on using scratchpad and content capture, by Laurence Livermore and Odile Weber,
• presentations by delegates on each of the plant groups represented, with consideration to how the research community can be involved in contributing to eMonocot,
• discussion and feedback from delegates identifying priorities for further engagement in eMonocot.

Delegates and research foci:
Mario Martinez-Azorin and Anne Johannsmeier work on Asparagaceae subfamily Scilloideae,
Muthama Muasya and Clare Archer work on Cyperaceae,
Yaschica Singh works on Hypoxidaceae and plans to work on Araceae,
Caroline Mushau works on South African Poaceae,
Ronell Klopper, Neil Crouch, Olwen Grace, Sebsebe Demissew, Stephen Boatwright working on Xanthorrhoeaceae subfamily Asphodeloideae in particular.

Eighty three percent of Madagascar's palms are threatened with extinction, putting the livelihoods of local people at risk- according to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species released this week by the The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Read the complete story here

eMonocot will be at TDWG 2012 in Beijing-Toward an International Infrastructure for Biodiversity Information. Ben Clark will be giving a talk on the eMonocot project and portal.

Members of the scratchpad team will also be there talking about scratchpads 2.0 and giving a scratchpad demo.

Have a look at the complete program on the TDWG website

Scratchpads developed and conceived by: Vince Smith, Simon Rycroft, Dave Roberts, Ben Scott...