I have a custom hierarchical taxonomy setup for a conference website. The top-level terms in this taxonomy are Dates, which have child terms representing session slots on that date. I'm trying to figure out how to get a list of the top-level terms within the taxonomy, that is I only want the terms that are Dates, not the terms that are sessions. Is this possible using get_terms()?

2 Answers 2


Try to pass 0 for parent argument in get_terms().

parent (integer) Get direct children of this term (only terms who's explicit parent is this value). If 0 is passed, only top-level terms are returned. Default is an empty string.

  • +1 - This is the answer you're looking for... ;)
    – t31os
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 11:55
  • This worked for me! But why doesn't this function have a "depth" argument like other Wordpress get functions?
    – Jeff K.
    Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 0:35
  • @Anatidaus who knows... btw I won't say depth is that common.
    – Rarst
    Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 8:56

See http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/get_terms.

Use the hierarchical = 0

$my_taxonomy = get_terms('my_taxonomy', 'orderby=count&hide_empty=0&hierarchical=0');
  • nope. hierarchical=0 doesn't work. The better way is parent=0 Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 11:51

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