Names: The World Checklist provides the first reasonably objective estimate of the number of species in Thymelaeaceae. As ofJanuary 2010, there are 3,442 published names at the rank of genus and below in the searchable database that account for a total of 962 currently accepted species. An additional 48 species, mostly belonging to Daphne, pertain to species hybrids or putative hybrids. There are 6 species of “Tepuianthoideae”, 50 species of Octolepidoideae, and about 900 species of Thymelaeoideae.
Currently,191 names (5.5%) are assigned to the "Status unclear" category because of particularly complex taxonomic and/or nomenclatural issues. Nearly half of those names belong to infraspecific ranks.
Preliminary results presented here suggest that the number of Thymelaeaceae species has been underestimated in recent literature by as much as 52% (Heywood,1993 – 500 spp.). Mabberley (2008) provided the most accurate estimate for the family (850 spp.), which was still an underestimate of about 12 percent.
More than half of the species (522 spp., 54%) belong to one of the five largest genera of the Thymelaeaceae: Gnidia (139 spp., almost entirelyAfrican/Malagasy), Pimelea (121 spp., mostly Australian), Daphne (99 spp. plus an additional 39 hybrids, mostly Asian and Mediterranean Europe), Wikstroemia (90 spp., Asian and Pacific), and Daphnopsis (73 spp., Central and South American). Monographic studies are sorely needed for most of these larger groups, and quite a few of the smaller genera still have not yet been comprehensively evaluated. Clearly the total number of species for the family and the number in each genera will change with further molecular and taxonomic studies.
Specimens: As of January 2010, more than 7000 collections of Thymelaeaceae have been databased in Tropicos. Collections determined by Rogers and other family specialists can be regarded as voucher specimens of accepted species.
Types: In addition to the 190 known type specimens deposited at MO, another 1500 type collections from other institutions have been personally examined and databased in Tropicos. Digital photographs of important type specimens housed in other herbaria will be periodically added to the World Checklist with institutional permission.
Digital images: About 1360 images belonging to the family are currently available in the database including 138 photographs of living plants. Most images belong to specimens with confirmed identities, i.e. collections currently determined by Rogers and other family specialists. At present, vouchers and associated digital images are posted for about half of the 962 accepted species of Thymelaeaceae.
New information is constantly being added to the database and previously captured data is continually being edited and refined. Please send comments, additions, and corrections to Zachary Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org).