An Annotated Checklist of the Austrian Flora

Synonyms, synonyms ...

Species of the Senecio carniolicus aggregate (photos: M. Sonnleitner)

As a result of the long tradition of intensive floristic research in Central Europe, the systematic-taxonomic assessment and thus the naming of plants has changed multiple times, which is reflected in the often considerable number of synonyms for a particular taxon. For long-term projects, such as "Mapping the Flora of Austria" or "Red Data Lists of Vascular Plants", it is, however, necessary to keep pace with these taxonomic changes. Hence, checklists, forming the taxonomic base reference of such projects, have to be updated regularly.

A comprehensive checklist for the Austrian flora was published 1956–1960 by Erwin Janchen in his "Catalogus Florae Austriae", including all vascular plants reported for Austria. As basis for the international project on mapping the flora of Central Europe, Friedrich Ehrendorfer published in the year 1967 the influential "Liste der Gefäßpflanzen Mitteleuropas" (List of Vascular Plants of Central Europe). A taxonomically and regionally extended second edition was published 1973, with main contributions by Walter Gutermann. In subsequent years, taxonomy and nomenclature of taxa covered by this list were continuously updated, usually following specifications by W. Gutermann, in connection with the national floristic mapping campaign and other projects. In recent years, this list has been extended to additionally include numerous neophytes reported from Austria drawing from many sources (e.g., work on neobiota by Johannes Walter, Franz Essl, Harald Niklfeld and Manfred A. Fischer as well as floristic publications).

Projects and publication that mostly rely on our checklist as taxonomic reference include regional distribution atlases, regional floras, Red Data Lists, external databases and the checklist of plants of South Tyrol (Italy). Although deviating for some taxa, the three hitherto published editions of the "Exkursionsflora von Österreich" (later "Exkursionsflora von Österreich, Liechtenstein und Südtirol") by Manfred A. Fischer use a taxonomic basis developed in intensive interaction with that used by the Floristic Mapping project.


A first version of the Checklist of the Austrian Flora (by Christian Gilli, Walter Gutermann, Angelika Billensteiner and Harald Niklfeld) is available for download here (pdf, csv, xlsx); explanations and comments (in German only) to this list can be found at the beginning of the pdf file.

Selected Publications

  • Dixon CJ, Gutermann W, Schönswetter P, Schneeweiss GM (2016) Taxonomy and nomenclature of the polymorphic European high mountain species Androsace vitaliana (L.) Lapeyr. (Primulaceae). PhytoKeys 75: 93–106
  • Gutermann W (2011) Notulae nomenclaturales 41–45 (Neue Namen bei Cruciata und Kali sowie einige kleinere Korrekturen). Phyton (Horn, Austria) 51: 95–102
  • Gutermann W (2010) Proposal to reject the name Scabiosa sylvatica (Dipsacaceae). Taxon 59: 298
  • Gutermann W (2009) Notulae nomenclaturales 26–28 (Zur Nomenklatur dreier Festuca-Arten der Alpen). Phyton (Horn, Austria) 49: 1–7
  • Gutermann W (2009) Notulae nomenclaturales 29–40 (Zur Nomenklatur von Gefäßpflanzen Österreichs). Phyton (Horn, Austria) 49: 77–92
  • Wilhalm T, Niklfeld H, Gutermann W (2006) Katalog der Gefäßpflanzen Südtirols (Veröffentlichungen des Naturmuseums Südtirol 3). Wien, Folio-Verlag.
  • Walter J, Essl F, Niklfeld H, Fischer MA (2002) Gefäßpflanzen. Pp 76–173 in: Essl F, Rabitsch W (ed.) Neobiota in Österreich. Wien. Wien, Umweltbundesamt.