A flora treatise (usually simply known as a Flora), requires specialist botanical knowledge to use with any effectiveness. Traditionally flora treatises are books, but some are now published on CD-ROM or websites.
It is said that the Flora Sinensis by the Polish Jesuit Michał Boym was the first book that used the name "Flora" in this meaning, a book covering the plant world of a region. However, despite its title it covered not only plants, but also some animals of the region.
A flora often contains diagnostic keys. Often these are dichotomous keys, which require the user to repeatedly examine a plant, and decide which one of two alternatives given in the flora best applies to the plant.
A compendium of world floras has been compiled by David Frodin.
Read more about this topic: Flora
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