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Welcome to the Flora of Lao People's Democratic Republic

The people of Lao PDR rely heavily on plants for food, construction materials, medicine, sacred rituals, and decoration but scientists know relatively little about them. We do not know, for example, how many species grow naturally in Lao PDR or what the distribution of each species is. Some species are known to be rare and endangered but others may simply disappear without anyone knowing they existed in Lao PDR.

A checklist gives some of this basic information and allows more detailed information to be collected and maintained in a systematic way. At its simplest, a checklist is a list of the correct names of the species, usually accompanied by some distribution information.

This Checklist of the vascular plants of Lao PDR is maintained and developed by Phetlasy Souladeth of the Faculty of Forestry, National University of Laos and Mark Newman of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The project began in 2004 and an early version of the list was published in 2007. Since then, new information has been added as it has been published so that this checklist is now the most complete one available.

Content of the checklist

The primary content of this website is a full list of all the vascular plants native in Lao PDR, namely the spore-bearing plants (true ferns and the fern allies, Equisetaceae, Lycopodiaceae and Selaginellaceae), the gymnosperms (conifers, Cycas, Gingko and Gnetum), and the flowering plants.

We try to ensure that as many names as possible in this checklist are verified by a herbarium specimen of the species collected in Lao PDR. In February 2024, there are 288 families, 2106 genera and 5965 species recorded in Lao PDR.

There are 5 tabs at the top of this screen, called Welcome, Floristics of Lao PDR, Checklist, Image Gallery and Contact Us

The Checklist tab allows you to search for a plant family or a genus. If you select a family, you will see the following information:

1. the name of the family
2. the names of the accepted genera
3. the names of the accepted species
4. specimens of each species

Limitations of the data

1. Distribution within Lao PDR

In most cases, this website does not show the full distribution of species in Lao PDR. For example, the riverine shrub Homonoia riparia Lour. (Euphorbiaceae) is a very widespread species which probably occurs in every province of Lao PDR but this database only has records from Bolikhamxay, Champasak, Khammouan and Vientiane Province. 


Newman, M.F., Pullan, M., Souladeth, P., Ketphanh, S., Svengsuksa, B., Thomas, P., Sengdala, K., Lamxay, V. & Armstrong, K. (2017–present). A Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Lao PDR. Online database available at