Updates on the legume checklist and a new tool for names checking

Marianne le Roux (South African National Biodiversity Institute, SANBI, South Africa)
Anne Bruneau (Université de Montréal, Canada)
Juliana Gastaldello Rando (Universidade Federal do Oeste da Bahia, Brazil)

The legume Taxonomy Working Group was tasked in 2020 with establishing a community-endorsed legume species checklist to support and provide solid foundations for the work of the other working groups (Phylogenomics and Phylogenetics, Occurrence Data, and Trait Data), and indeed all legume research, and has been working steadily on generating the list. The Legume Taxonomy Working Group has now officially been recognised as a Taxonomic Expert Network in the World Flora Online initiative (see

The major achievement during 2023 was making substantial progress on subfamily Caesalpinioideae. Importantly, new names published in Advances in Legume Systematics 14, Part 1, which focused on generic delimitation in Caesalpinioideae have been incorporated into the checklist, and has resulted in 32 genera being updated. In addition, thanks to collaboration with Bruce R. Maslin (Western Australian Herbarium and Singapore Herbarium), Donald Hoburn (Canberra, Australia), and Rafaël Govaerts and Nick Black (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), we were able to integrate taxonomic information from the WorldWideWattle database ( WorldWideWattle is a collaborative project, headed by Bruce Maslin, whose aim is to deliver authoritative information relating to species of Acacia s.l. and it contains the most up to date taxonomy for this group. This progress on subfamily Caesalpinioideae builds on the already completed lists for three of the six subfamilies (Cercidoideae, Dialioideae, and Duparquetioideae).

Two versions of the legume checklist were published in 2023. Version 2023v.3 included updates from taxon experts mainly in subfamily Caesalpinioideae, and version 2023v.4 incorporated corrections suggested by World Flora Online and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. In total, 95 taxonomists representing 26 countries have contributed to the checklist to date, verifying names for 49% of legume genera. Version 2023v.4 is available on Checklist Bank ( and on the Legume Data Portal ( Older versions of the checklist are available on Zenodo (e.g.,

Checking the remainder of the Detarioideae, Caesalpinioideae, and Papilionoideae is continuing, with 11, 119, and 337 genera, respectively, still left to check. In addition, five genera still unplaced in a subfamily need to be verified. The full list of genera still to be checked is available here: (and can also be viewed on the Taxonomy Working Group page of the Legume Data Portal:

An important innovation was made during the year in how the Taxonomy Working Group works, with implementation of a tool that facilitates name verification. Up to now, the Taxonomy Working Group had to navigate a complex web of activities and communication between taxon experts, tribe or subfamily coordinators, and the World Checklist of Vascular Plants editor in order to capture name corrections in the checklist. However, the tide has turned with the advent of Rhakhis (, a names editor developed by the World Flora Online team. Rhakhis empowers taxon experts to directly update and maintain the checklist online with ease and efficiency. This method of name editing has been tested and subsequently implemented by the Taxonomy Working Group. There are detailed instructions available online in the Rhakhis Users Handbook and training videos ( A sandbox ( is available to practice and learn how to use this user-friendly tool. See below for some basic instructions.

Names can also be updated in the newly created Google sheet ( and also using traditional (Word format) checklists. When using the Google sheet, it is possible to filter the long list of legume names, for just the genera of interest. Explanations of how to do this are provided below.

Following up, on the check-a-thon that was held at the 8th International Legume Conference in Pirénopolois in Brazil, we would like to challenge the legume community to another name checking event during the second week of April 2024. We will be contacting the legume systematics community soon with the objective of organizing an online name checking event, where from the comfort of your office, herbarium or library, you can participate in a friendly challenge to verify legume species names. Can we be ambitious and aim to finalize the list for the International Botanical Congress in Madrid in July 2024? Join us!

If you want to join the Taxonomy Working Group and contribute to name curation, please register online ( We need your expertise! Notes on how to use the new tools for editing the checklist are provided here:

All edited checklists must be submitted to the relevant subfamily or tribe coordinator. See the table below for the list of coordinators.

If you need further assistance, please contact Marianne le Roux (, Juliana Rando (, or Anne Bruneau (

Subfamily/tribe/clade Coordinator
Caesalpinioideae Anne Bruneau and Marianne le Roux, Juliana Rando
Cercidoideae Anne Bruneau
Detarioideae Manuel de la Estrella
Dialioideae Anne Bruneau
Duparquetioideae Bente Klitgaard
Papilionoideae: Abreae Jan Wieringa
Papilionoideae: Amburaneae Ângela Sartori
Papilionoideae: Amorpheae Sophie Winitsky
Papilionoideae: Andira clade Domingos Cardoso & Toby Pennington
Papilionoideae: Angylocalyceae Maria Povydysh
Papilionoideae: Baphieae Mikhael Goncharov & Maria Povydysh
Papilionoideae: Brongniartieae Luciano Queiroz & Oscar Dorado
Papilionoideae: Camoensieae Rodrigo Schütz Rodrigues
Papilionoideae: Cicereae Firouzeh Javadi
Papilionoideae: Cladrastideae Martin Wojciechowski
Papilionoideae: Crotalarieae Marianne le Roux
Papilionoideae: Dalbergieae Bente Klitgaard
Papilionoideae: Desmodieae Hiroyoshi Ohashi & Kazuaki Ohashi
Papilionoideae: Diocleae Luciano Queiroz
Papilionoideae: Dipterygeae Domingos Cardoso & Haroldo C. de Lima
Papilionoideae: Exostyleae Vidal Mansano
Papilionoideae: Fabeae/Vicieae Greg Kenicer
Papilionoideae: Galegeae Stephen Boatwright
Papilionoideae: Genisteae Annah Moteetee & Ozan Şentürk
Papilionoideae: Hedysareae Mikhael Goncharov & Maria Povydysh
Papilionoideae: Hypocalypteae Stephen Boatwright
Papilionoideae: Indigoferae Rafaël Govaerts & Brian Schrire
Papilionoideae: Leptolobieae Rodrigo Schütz Rodrigues
Papilionoideae: Loteae Dario Alayon, Dmitri Sokoloff & Tatiana Kramina
Papilionoideae: Millettieae Stephen Boatwright & Marcos José da Silva
Papilionoideae: Mirbelioids Russell Barrett
Papilionoideae: Ormosieae Domingos Cardoso & Toby Pennington
Papilionoideae: Phaseoleae Alfonso Delgado Salinas & Annah Moteetee
Papilionoideae: Podalyrieae Stephen Boatwright
Papilionoideae: Psoraleeae Charlie Stirton
Papilionoideae: Robinieae Matt Lavin
Papilionoideae: Sesbanieae Martin Wojciechowski
Papilionoideae: Sophoreae Toby Pennington & Stephen Boartwright
Papilionoideae: Swartzieae Benjamin M. Torke & Vidal Mansano
Papilionoideae: Trifolieae Ana Paula Fortuna
Papilionoideae: Vataireoid clade Domingos Cardoso & Haroldo C. de Lima
Papilionoideae: Wisterieae Jamie Compton
Unresolved/unranked: Dermatophyllum Scheele Toby Pennington & Stephen Boartwright
Unresolved/unranked: Glycyrrhiza Lei Duan
Unresolved/unranked: Neoharmsia Gwil Lewis
Unresolved/unranked: Orphanodendron Gwil Lewis
Unresolved/unranked: Pericopsis Gwil Lewis
Unresolved/unranked: Sakoanala Gwil Lewis