Plant Base Release Status (December 2018)

The latest released production version of Plant Base is 2.1.9 and the database release is 28 (what's this?).

The Screen Saver module is 2.0.3

For detailed release information see the Full Version History.

13th December 2018 - release of Plant Base 2.1.9

Maintenance version mainly for a few bug fixes. Includes some other changes to the user interface. Adds an optional alternative view for plant list detail data, showing individual records in sequence. This view is also now used for entering or editing the list detail data fields, replacing the old separate edit window. A new File menu choice is added giving a simple function to make a copy of the database files, as a convienience for transfer ot backup of the database.

Due to the bug fixes, this program update is recommended for all existing users.
Reminder : program-only updates are very quick and easy, only needing a small update file to be downloaded.

Along with this version, there is an updated release of the database - number 28. This has relatively few additions but has updates and corrections to existing records. Also some plant name changes and plant family re-classifications, as per the taxonomic authorities. This data revision is not essential for existing users, or could be done later if preferred. Please read the update instructions before replacing an existing database.

21st March 2013 - release of Plant Base 2.1.0

This was a major version of the application and the first public release of the newly re-coded program.

The database content was Data Release 24, the same as the final Plant Base '1'.

Plant Base 2 is a full re-write that replaces the previous 1.6.1. version. As it uses completely different program technologies, upgrading from old versions requires a database migration step in order to preserve user data. Here is a detailed guide describing how to convert from a 1.x.x version to 2.x.x.

It is possible to install and run the new Plant Base 2 version alongside version 1.6.1

All existing license registration codes remain valid for Plant Base 2. New users get a 15 day trial period, exactly as before.

Notable changes since Plant Base 1.6.1

  • Plant records have 3 new fields - spiny/thorny, invasive and leaf-shape. As these are additional to the existing database they have not been completed for many plant records.
  • List records have 3 new fields to hold GPS data - these are intended mostly for the future mobile edition.
  • Imperial sizes and Fahrenheit temperature are handled differently. Main display is always metric/Celsius but with options for mouse-over conversions and alternate data entry in Imperial/US Standard units.
  • Portable run-time mode is available - can run entirely from a USB memory stick.
  • Optional small screen display mode, suitable for most netbooks.
  • Archive function has been renamed to Extract and is no longer a separate program.
  • Import plant data function now has a new option to apply record deletions, as logged in the import file.
  • Resize new pictures on-the-fly when adding.
  • Add pictures from the Windows Clipboard as alternative to the usual file method.
  • Possibility of alternative languages for the user interface.
  • The old plant reporter module has been improved and merged into the main program.
  • The screensaver module is now an optional, separate install file.
  • Both 32-bit and 64-bit program builds are available for the Windows edition. See the 64-bit program information page.
  • A native Mac OSX edition was available from version 2.1.4
  • Requires Windows 2000 or later, or Mac OSX 10.6.

General release notes

The current release has approximately 12,000 plants and 6,000 pictures. However our eventual aim is for this to grow considerably and loading additional data and images will be an ongoing process for some time to come. For this reason all registered users can update to new versions at no additional cost.

The default language for user interface of Plant Base 2 is English, but language can be changed by using external translation files. Versions 1.x.x. are English language only. Please see the languages page for further information..

Plant Base 2 needs Windows 2000 or later, Plant Base 1 will run on older Windows versions (95, 98, NT4, ME as well as 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7). The old version will remain available for download.

Though Plant Base was originally developed for MS Windows PCs, we are aiming to provide native editions for other platforms. Notably, a Mac OS edition and a mobile Android app are now available. A Linux desktop edition is written and under initial testing. All current editions use the same database system so that plant data is interchangeable regardless of platform.


Plant Base 2 is coded in a different programming language from the older versions. This is important and necessary because the original development system from Microsoft is now regarded as obsolete.

PureBasicAfter considering several alternative programming languages for the re-coding of Plant Base, we selected PureBasic from Fantaisie Software, France. This powerful and highly efficient development tool provides great capability for producing native PC applications. It is an excellent choice for small-scale developers with limited resources and one of the best programming languages we have seen.

We would like to thank the Fantaisie Software team and the entire PureBasic forum community. Many have helped and provided code examples, but for their substantial contributions we specially mention Timo Harter, Stephen Rodriguez and Martin Guttman.