The Spermatophyta and Pteridophyta of Cuba - A Preliminary Checklist

The Vascular Plants of Cuba
A Preliminary Checklist


Werner Greuter and Rosa Rankin Rodríguez

This Checklist results from a decision of the Comité Científico Nacional para la Flora de la República de Cuba, taken during the XVI Flora de la República de Cuba Workshop (National Botanical Garden, University of Havana, 5 to 7 May 2015): That the feasibility of preparing a “check-list” of Cuban plants be evaluated by the editors of the Flora.

The assessment requested by the National Scientific Committee was swift and positive. It resulted in the implementation of the first edition of this preliminary inventory or Checklist within less than one year. The pteridophytes were added in the second edition (2017). A checklist for Cuba's bryophytes and other groups of cryptogamic plants, algae and fungi is still missing. The online version presented here is constantly updated.

In preparing this Checklist, our main sources of information were as follows:

  • The Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies of Acevedo-Rodríguez & Strong (2012). [A&S].
  • The Flora de la República de Cuba [FRC] for all families published so far.
  • The Flora de Cuba of brother León and brother Alain. [FC, FC-S].
  • The International Plant Name Index (
  • The Tropicos database (
  • The Catalogue of Life ( [CoL].
  • Various sources on the flora of the island of Cuba, including those detailed in the Bibliography, as well as particular books and papers, including many protologues (original publications of new taxa), and information provided by specialists (see Credits).
  • The Lista de los helechos y licófitos de Cuba of Sánchez (2017)

The Checklist was initially prepared in the traditional way, in the form of formatted text arranged in tables. The information was then imported into a relational database by Andreas Müller and the team of the Biodiversity Informatics Section of the Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem. The presentation of the Checklist on the Internet (Andreas Kohlbecker and Florian Reimeier) is to occur in two formats: one of static text, generated by direct data export into a pdf document, which lends itself to be cited; the other for interactive online consultation with possibilities of advanced search and flexible layout, including maps, which can be kept up to date permanently.

It was our plan to present the distribution in Cuba for each taxon province by province, but for now this could be implemented only for some of the families (or subfamilies): those of which treatments have already been published in the Flora de la República de Cuba plus a few for which we found specialists willing to provide the partly unpublished relevant information: Asclepiadoideae (Sigrid Liede-Schumann), Convolvulaceae (Hermann Manitz), Gesneriaceae (John Clark), Lamiaceae (Isidro Méndez Santos), Magnoliaceae (Alejandro Palmarola Beje­rano), Malpighiaceae (Pedro González Gutiérrez), Orchidaceae (Alelí Morales Martínez), Oxalidaceae (Rosalina Berazaín Iturralde), Solanaceae (Victor Fuentes Fiallo†), Zygo­phyllaceae (Delhy Albert Puentes), and the genus Polystichum of Dryopteridaceae, who therefore sign as co-authors for the respective families. The uneven level of treatment is the main reason that made us qualify the current version of the Checklist as “preliminary”. We intend to produce new, increasingly complete, updated and corrected versions or editions at regular intervals. It is our hope that, once the Checklist is fairly complete and reliable, to such a degree that the word “preliminary” can be can removed from the title, it will also be printed in book form.

[Published consolidated editions (PDF)]