10 Largest Herbaria in The World
Herbarium Fern Image
What is a Herbarium?
A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant specimens. The plants are usually dried and mounted on sheets of special paper or (newsprint or blotter paper are most often used), but in some cases may be stored in a preservative such as alcohol.
Herbarium can also refer to actual buildings or institutes where plant specimens are stored and/or researched. Many museums, botanical gardens and universities, for example, maintain specialized herbaria. These herbaria are used for cataloging and identifying flora, the study of plant taxonomy, and studying the geographic and historical distribution of plants in different regions.
Read About Herbaria
In a letter from 1845, the 14-year-old Emily Dickinson asked her friend Abiah Root if she had started collecting flowers and plants for a herbarium: "it would be such a treasure to you; 'most all the girls are making one." Emily's own album of more than 400 pressed flowers and plants, carefully preserved, has long been a treasure of Harvard's Houghton Library. This beautifully produced, slipcased volume now makes it available to all readers interested in the life and writings of Emily Dickinson.
Herbarium Cabinet Contents
10 Largest Herbaria in the World
At present, the ten largest herbaria in the world are:
- Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France)
- New York Botanical Garden (Bronx, New York, USA)
- Komarov Botanical Institute (St. Petersburg, Russia)
- Royal Bonanic Gardens (Kew, England, UK)
- Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Geneve (Geneva, Switzerland)
- Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Missouri, USA)
- British Museum of Natural History (London, England, UK)
- Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
- Swedish Museum of Natural History (Stockholm, Sweden)
- United States National Herbarium (Washington, DC, USA)
History of the Herbarium at Kew Gardens
Have you ever been to a herbarium?
Related Herbaria Links
- Nong Nooch Tropical Botanic Garden and Zoo
The Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is situated only a short drive by car, taxi or tour bus from Pattaya in Chonburi, Thailand. The 500 acre park is definitely worth a visit. As with all such similar tourist...
- An Autumn Stroll Through Tower Hill Botanical Garden
Love at First Sight In November of 2009, my daughter and I discovered the joys of visiting Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA. When we lived in Boston, we frequented the Arnold...
- Van Dusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, Canada - N...
Visiting the beautiful Van Dusen Botanical Gardens was our third sightseeing stop for one day while vacationing in Vancouver, Canada. It may have been last on our list...but not least by way of pleasure. ...
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida -...
The Selby Gardens There are literally hundreds of botanical gardens spread all across the landscape of America and each offers its own special beauty. What sets the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in...
- National Botanic Garden of Wales
This gardeners delight deserves to be better known! The National Botanic Garden of Wales was opened in 2000. It had been only open for a few years when it was in danger of closing due to low...
- Botanical Gardens
I discovered the world of
- Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri - A National...
An attraction well worth seeing if you are ever in the St. Louis area is the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is also a National Historic Landmark! Our friend Mary, who is an avid gardener took my mother and me...
- Australia's Botanic Gardens: an English Tradition
The botanic gardens that have become vital green refuges in the middle of many of Australia's cities owe much to the 19th century English tradition, and to a few dedicated men who continued the tradition on our less-than-hospitable shores.
- Warner Castle
Part of the fun of travel is the surprising discoveries one can make when traveling down back roads and off the beaten track. On a recent trip back to Rochester, New York I came upon just such a discovery...