Despite the severe threats to plant habitats and high levels of extinction risk for plant species in many parts of the world, plant conservation priorities are often poorly represented in national and global frameworks because of a lack of data in an accessible and consistent format to inform conservation decision making. The Important Plant Areas (IPAs) criteria system offers a pragmatic yet scientifically rigorous means of delivering these datasets, enabling informed national or regional-scale conservation prioritisation, and contributing significantly towards global prioritisation systems including the International Union for Conservation of Nature Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) Standard. In this paper, the contributing authors review the IPA rationale and progress on IPA identification to date, including the perceived limitations of the process and how these may be overcome.