Wikipedia, already the longest encyclopedia in the world, reached five million English language entries on Sunday, November 1, with an article on the Persoonia terminalis—an Australian shrub. The article was a landmark achievement both for the crowd-sourced encyclopedia, and for Cas Liber, the article’s author.
“Wikipedia provides an opportunity to make sense of chaos,” Liber told the Wikimedia blog. "[It's] a great bridge between information for laypeople and detailed scientific information for enthusiasts and professionals." Liber, who has written nearly 1500 Wikipedia articles, is an Australia-based editor who hopes his article inspires others to contribute to the site.
The now-historic shrub, meanwhile, “is found on acidic, well-drained soils in sclerophyll forests in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland in eastern Australia,” according to Liber’s article. It was first recorded in the 1981 edition of Flora of New South Wales by Lawrie Johnson of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
According to Wikipedia, Persoonia terminalis has joined an elite club comprised of other million-article markers, like Jordanhill railway station, the Egyptian city Ezbet el-Borg, and Norwegian soap opera actress Beate Eriksen.