PANKEY Botanical Keys

Richard Pankhurst wrote a set of botanical keys to assist to help botanist identify some tricky plant families. He wrote them using Delta, a new computer system for taxonomy that he had helped to develop. Peter Wiggins has converted them to Identikit to make them more widely available.

Richard Pankhurst (1940 – 2013) was a true early innovator of using computers for biological identification. He started work at CERN and then moved to Cambridge University when his interest in computer systems and his passion for botany combined. He moved to the Natural History Museum as Curator of Herbarium and then to Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. As well as a computer scientist and taxonomist, he was a gifted field botanist and wrote the Flora of the Outer Hebrides.

The keys are unchanged from the original except that the plant names have been updated where needed.