Nomenclatural systems are structured around classification and together they enable increasingly informed communication about biological diversity. A polemic is raging and a morass of literature is growing on the relevance of traditional approaches to classification and current nomenclatural codes, often referred to in general terms as the Linnaean system. Challengers of traditional approaches to classification and nomenclature have proposed the PhyloCode, a new set of rules which would govern the way systematists classify and name the diversity of life. Monographs and floras are two fundamental vehicles for communicating information about plant diversity. These works provide a comprehensive foundation of botanical research upon which other scientific studies are based. The information conveyed through monographs and floras is utilized directly or indirectly by a wide range of consumers both within and outside the scientific arena, such as educators, agrarians, ecologists, conservationists, amateur naturalists, and even lawmakers, to name a few. Both classification and nomenclature are essential to the process of synthesis that leads to monographic and floristic treatments. Thus, abrupt conversion to a new system of classification and nomenclature would have far-reaching consequences on the flow of information and communication from systematics, to other scientific disciplines, and to society. The purpose of this paper is to contrast the current botanical code (ICBN) and the proposed PhyloCode from the perspective of monographic and floristic research focused on Neotropical plant diversity. We weigh advantages and disadvantages of each system against a backdrop of on-going activity and communication, and draw conclusions as to which system better facilitates current needs. We suggest a pluralistic approach rooted in the stewardship of systematics, and relate this philosophical viewpoint to education, research, information synthesis, communication, the consumer, and conservation of biological diversity.

Key words: classification, floras, Linnaean system, Monographs, Neotropical plant diversity, nomenclature, PhyloCode