The "Repertorium Plantarum Succulentarum" (RPS) is an annual index of new names of succulent plants, published since 1950 by the International Organization for Succulent Plant Study (IOS). Starting with volume 21 for 1970, bibliographical data is also included. In their combination RPS is the single most detailed source for succulent plant data, both nomenclatural and bibliographical. From the outset RPS has been supplied to all members of IOS but could also be purchased separately. Starting with volume 61 (November 2011), RPS is being made available in digital form as an ‘open access’ publication.

RPS attempts to list, under separate headings, newly published names of succulent plants and relevant literature on the systematics of these plants. New names noted after the issue for the relevant year has been published are included in later issues. Specialist periodical literature is scanned in full (as available at the libraries at Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich (ZSS) and Universität Zürich (Z) or received by the compilers). Also included is information directly supplied to the compilers. It is urgently requested that any reprints of papers not published in readily available botanical literature be sent to the compilers. For further information see pp 2-3 in issue 61.

At present, RPS is compiled by:
Urs Eggli, Sukkulenten-Sammlung Zürich, Mythenquai 88, CH-8002 Zürich, Switzerland
Reto Nyffeler, Institut für Systematische Botanik der Universität Zürich,
Zollikerstrasse 107, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland.

A short history of Repertorium Plantarum Succulentarum

The first issue of Repertorium Plantarum Succulentarum (RPS) was produced in 1951 by Michael Roan (1909-2003), one of the founder members of the International Organization for Succulent Plant Study (IOS) in 1950. It listed the ‘majority of the new names [of succulent plants] published the previous year’. The first issue, edited by Roan himself with the help of A.J.A Uitewaal (1899-1963), was published for IOS by the National Cactus & Succulent Society, and the next four (with Gordon Rowley as Associate and later Joint Editor) by Roan’s newly formed British Section of the IOS. For issues 5-12, Gordon Rowley became the sole editor. Issue 6 was published by IOS with assistance by the Acclimatisation Garden Pinya de Rosa, Costa Brava, Spain, owned by Fernando Riviere de Caralt (1904-1992), another founder member of IOS.

In 1957, an arrangement for closer cooperation with the International Association of Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) was reached, and RPS issues 7-22 were published in their Regnum Vegetabile series with the financial support of the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), of which IOS remains a member to this day. Issues 23-25 were published by Abbey Garden Press of Pasadena, California, USA, after which IOS finally resumed full responsibility as publisher with issue 26 (for 1975).

Gordon Rowley retired as editor after the publication of issue 32 (for 1981) along with Len E. Newton, who had assisted him with issues 13 onwards. Starting with issue 33, RPS was compiled and edited by Urs Eggli and Nigel Taylor, who enhanced it by adding data on nomenclatural types and enlarging the ‘Bibliographia’ section, first introduced in issue 20 (for 1969). After issue 45 (for 1994), Nigel Taylor handed over as co-editor to his wife Daniela Zappi, who assisted with issues 46-59. Reto Nyffeler joined the editorial team for issue 55 onwards.

Starting in 1986, a nomenclatural and bibliographical database was created at the Zürich Succulent Plant Collection to compile the individual issues. Over the years all earlier issues were added to this database, making it possible to produce the ‘IOS Index of Names of Cactaceae published 1950-1990’. This was published by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in 1991, and followed by an equivalent list for the ‘other succulents’ in 1994.

After 60 issues conventionally printed, Repertorium Plantarum Succulentarum has been made available in digital form in pdf format (‘portable document format’) from issue 61 onwards, as an ‘open access’ publication, accessible over the internet.