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A system of plant taxonomy, the Thorne system of plant classification was devised by the American botanist Robert F. Thorne (1920–2015) in 1968,[1] and he continued to issue revisions over many years (1968–2007).[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Some versions of the system are available online. The Bioinformatics Working Group Center for the Study of Digital Libraries at Texas A&M University lists the March 1999 version[9] (and other classification systems).[10] James Reveal's course lecture notes (1999) also gives an account of the Thorne system at that time, with an extensive listing of synonyms, both nomenclatural and taxonomic, for each name in the system[11] together with several other classification systems.[12]

For a discussion of the various suffixes used for superorders (-florae vs. -anae), see Brummitt 1992,[13] and Thorne 1992.[5] In this latter paper, Thorne sets out his reasons for abandoning -florae for -anae, following contemporary practice.


1968 systemEdit



1992 systemEdit

The 1992 system lists 69 orders and 440 families




2007 systemEdit

The 2007 system lists 12 subclasses, 35 superorders, 87 orders, 40 suborders, and 472 families. It uses the suffixes given in the following example.

Class Magnoliopsida ("Angiospermae") - 12 subclasses



Works by ThorneEdit

Note: This is a selected list of the more influential systems. There are many other systems, for instance a review of earlier systems, published by Lindley in his 1853 edition, and Dahlgren (1982). Examples include the works of Scopoli, Batsch and Grisebach.