Home Catalogue of the Plants of Madagascar
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Welcome to the Homepage of the Madagascar Catalogue

The Vahinala Project aims to assimilate information on all native and naturalized vascular plant species in Madagascar, evaluating the available taxonomic literature and specimen base for each taxon. The primary result of the project is the Catalogue of the Plants of Madagascar, an online database. The Missouri Botanical Garden leads the Project in collaboration with numerous institutional and individual partners. We completed a synonymized list of accepted species in 2008 and in 2012 we have completed the taxonomic evaluation of the majority of all genera and compiled distributional, ecological, and conservation status information for most well-circumscribed accepted species (View Project Milestones). In 2017 we added a preliminary checklist of bryophyte species, and changed the name of the website from the Catalogue of Vascular Plants of Madagascar to it's current name.

...more information

Using the Madagascar Catalogue (MadCat) - The pale green horizontal Menu Bar provides access to basic search functions and standard TROPICOS links, while links on the pale green vertical Navigation Bar provides links to data browsing options, and to advance search options. A quick search for any plant name can most conveniently be made from the Taxon Name box on the Navigation Bar. The 'Search Builder' generates species lists based on multiple project attributes including a keyword search on a taxon name, thus generating a list restricted to a certain family or genus by specifying this name in the Keyword search box. Image Search accesses all images on TROPICOS, while the Project Query Builder is available only to logged-in users (Project Login access is normally only provided to project personnel and contributors).

On most pages in the upper right corner the words 'Choose Project' appear, providing links that enable the user to switch between a Madagascar Catalogue Project view and a standard TROPICOS view, or to the corresponding page in other TROPICOS Projects. Click on the Catalogue of the Plants of Madagascar  header at any time to return to the Project Homepage.

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Citation of this database:
Madagascar Catalogue, . Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, U.S.A. & Antananarivo, Madagascar [http://www.tropicos.org/Project/Madagascar. Accessed: , ].

Publication of the Red List of Threatened Malagasy Plant Species. In conjunction with the Malagasy Plant Specialist Group of the IUCN, we have been undertaking Threat Analysis and Conservation Status evaluations of Malagasy Vascular plants. To date approximately 3,000 evaluation have been completed, and in May 2011 a first plant Red List for Madagascar was published. It includes 1,676 species assessed as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered.


Plant Themes. We are developing a series of MadCat special interest themes accessible through the 'Plant Themes' link on the Navigation Bar, or through the 'Search Builder'. These currently include:

 • Parasitic Plants
 • Endemic Plant Families
 • Dye Plants


...more information and links

The New Website. We switched to presenting MadCat on the new TROPICOS project facility in March 2010. Thanks go to the project team for their hardworke, and the IT Division in St Louis. New functionality is added gradually, watch for future developments. Among the more recent additions, each with a link on the sidebar, we urge users to try out:

  • Fern Names: an index to the Ferns of Madagascar
  • Specimens with Vernacular Names: an link to nearly 20,000 specimen records from Madagascar with vernacular name information
  • Geographic Search: delivers a Google map on which localities for specimens of specific families and genera can be searched. Zoom in to particular portions of the map and use the 'Click to use manual coordinates' followed by 'Sync coordinates with map' to return results for a particular site

Note also the icons that appear to the left of taxon names. These provide direct links in other databases for the name concerned.

What's New?

Higher Level Taxonomic Summary and Status Directory Completed. For all plant families and higher levels a taxonomic summary was completed in June 2011, and updated as new information is incorporated into the database. It provides information on the taxonomic status of the group, including species numbers and endemicity taxon by taxon, and has links to image galleries for genera and higher levels.

Candollea Notes. The fourth in a new series of taxonomic notes on the Malagasy flora edited by project personnel and collaborators will be published in the twice-yearly journal of Geneva Botanical Garden and Herbarium. The first appeared in December, 2010. To date 25 short articles have been published dealing with diverse plant groups including:




 ...read more and access series index

More than 15,360 images of Malagasy plants currently available (May, 2012), including 11395 photos of living plants and with more being added regularly. MadCat is richly illustrated with photos and high resolution scans of specimens.

See a selection of some of our favorite Malagasy plants but clicking on the image below (and find out what it is!), or search using the Images link on the horizontal menu bar or use the  Image Galleries links on the sidebar for more image search options.

Links to images for all higher taxa are available on all Family and Order pages, see for example: Fabaceae or Lamiales.

...information on this and other selected images

Key Resources
Digital Library - The Vahinala Project is contributing to the development of online resources and is compiling a list of resources relevant to the plants of Madagascar. Online resources are growing rapidly, and important sites include:
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library)
Google Books
Real JB Madrid

The Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris has a valuable catalogue of online resources at:
Revues en ligne

Links to Other Key Resources

The Plant List
African Plant Database
JSTOR Plant Science (ex Aluka)
Flore Numérique d'Afrique Centrale
MBG Projects in Africa
Angiosperm Phylogeny Website
Conspectus of the Vascular Plants of Madagascar
Gazetteer to Malagasy Botanical Collecting Localities

The Vahinala Project

The Project Team - The project team comprises MBG staff based in St Louis, Princeton, Paris and Geneva, and staff of MBG's Madagascar Research and Conservation Program based in Antananarivo.

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Vahinala Project Partners & Sponsors
 • MNHN, Paris
 • CJB, Geneva
 • FO.FI.FA, Antananarivo
 • PBZT, Antananarivo


 • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
 • Botanical Research Foundation of Idaho
 • JRS Biodiversity Foundation
 • Marisla Foundation
 • US National Science Foundation


...read more

We welcome feedback, please contact:
Peter Phillipson, George Schatz or Sylvie Andriambololonera.

Last update: 29 May 2017

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