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If you have any questions, queries or wish to give feedback on any aspect of the POWO portal or data, please contact:Biodiversity Informatics team at

Search Help

POWO has a free text search with a number of advanced features, which are explained below:

Multiple Search Terms

Typing a search and hitting “enter” allows you to type a second term in the search bar. These restrict the results of the previous search. (For example, a search for “orchidaceae”, “yellow flowers” and “africa” would give a list of all orchids with yellow flowers in Africa.) Individual search terms can be deleted by pressing the x on each one.

Try multiple search terms here

Field Search

Putting a field name and a colon at the start of your search will restrict the search to the selected field (For example, “author: L.” will restrict the search to only taxa that were published by Linnaeus.)

Currently, you can use the following field names:

  • Characteristics:
  • summary
  • appearance
  • characteristic
  • flower
  • fruit
  • leaf
  • inflorescence
  • seed
  • cloning
  • use
  • Names:
  • name
  • common name
  • kingdom
  • family
  • genus
  • species
  • author
  • Geography:
  • location

Try a field search here


The filter bar allows you to quickly constrain results by some common terms. For example, you can use it to narrow searches down to results with images, or only families, genera or species.

Try a filter here

TDWG & Geographical Search

POWO uses TDWG regions for its geographical search. These are botanical regions that do not necessarily conform to country borders. Continents are searchable, as are continent sections (For example, "Southern South America." covers Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay)

Try a geographical search here