Introduction The present publication represents more than a decade of arduous work devoted to the compilation and revision of scientific and common names of the taxa of seed plants known to occur in the West Indies. The West Indies as defined in a previous paper by Acevedo- Rodríguez and Strong (2008) include three main archipelagos that divide the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean (Map. 1), i.e., the Bahamas Archipelago (Bahamas Islands + Turks and Caicos Islands), the Greater Antilles (Map 3), and the Lesser Antilles (Map 2). The project originally started as a compilation of scientific names once used for the seed plants of the Greater Antilles, and it was thought to constitute the starting point for the Flora of the Greater Antilles project. While funding for such an ambitious project never materialized, the checklist slowly increased its scope to include the Bahamas, the Lesser Antilles, and common names for plants from the region. Due to the lack of time and resources, we have not included records from the islands off the coast of Venezuela (Netherland Antilles, Venezuelan Antilles, Trinidad, and Tobago). The Catalogue of Seed Plants of the West Indies constitutes the first modern effort to account for all the names (scientific and vernacular) of seed plants known to occur in the Bahamas Archipelago, the Greater Antilles, and the Lesser Antilles. We have compiled binomials treated in major floristic works and taxonomic revisions pertinent to the West Indies. Additional names were compiled from specimen records at the Smithsonian Institution (U.S. National Herbarium) Map 1. West Indies and Surrounding Continents.
number 98 • v and other herbaria, botanical articles, the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), Kew Gardens World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSPF), and the International Legume Database and Information Service (ILDIS). Once the initial compilation was completed, we updated the nomenclature and distributions according to modern monographs, floras of the New World, and from catalogues such as WCSPF and ILDIS. Families lacking modern treatments were then sent to various specialists for extensive revision (see list of contributors). This catalogue is accompanied by a searchable website maintained at the Smithsonian Institution (http://botany.si.edu/antilles/WestIndies/), which is continuously updated to incorporate the latest taxonomical concepts and newly described taxa. The catalogue and the website are designed to work together. The catalogue provides rough distributions outside of the West Indies for every accepted scientific name and type information for some groups and selected species, e.g., Cyperaceae. The website allows for numerous searches by family, genus, species, common names, island, and endemism status. In addition, it contains images of numerous accepted species, and in the future will have distribution maps and citation of exsiccatae. Ultimately, we plan to provide type specimen information for all accepted species. For ease of use, this project (catalogue and web pages) presents families in alphabetical order following the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG- III) family concepts. Genera, species, and synonyms are also arranged in alphabetical order. Accepted names are in bold face and synonyms italicized. Where type specimen information is given, herbarium acronyms follow Index Herbariorum (http://sweetgum .nybg.org/ih/). Genera flagged with a single (*) asterisk are endemic while those with a (**) double asterisk are nearly endemic to the West Indies. Nearly endemic genera are those where the vast majority of its species are endemic to the region under consideration. In most cases, basionyms are provided only for native species. A number was given to each reference cited and these correspond to the numbers listed under each accepted name. A species was excluded if no specimen record was found to substantiate it or it was based on a secondary reference. These are listed alphabetically at the end of each family treatment. In order to facilitate searches of genera (which are currently recognized in families different from their traditional circumscription), an index to generic names is provided at the end of the catalogue. The catalogue provides distributions of the accepted taxa within the Greater and the Lesser Antilles, but not within the Bahamas. Distributions of taxa known to occur in both Dominican Republic and Haiti are presented as Hispaniola. If taxa are only known for either country, then the country name is indicated in the distribution. Endemism in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands is accounted altogether as one unit as these islands belong to the biogeographical unit called the Puerto Rican bank (Acevedo- Rodríguez et al. 1996). The following distribution categories are recognized in this work: native, endemic, exotic, and cultivated. These categories are sometimes difficult to apply as conclusive data on species origin may be missing. The term exotic is used to denote species known to be introduced that seem to be common or naturalized. The term cultivated is restricted to species known only under cultivation and not self-perpetuating. Diversity The West Indies are considered one of the biodiversity hotspots with high priority for conservation in the World due to its biological richness and the fragility of the Map 2. Lesser Antilles.