BPS Fern Herbarium

at the Royal Horticultural Society



What is there now?

Over a period of several decades the British Pteridological Society assembled a fern herbarium collection from several sources, and housed this in the Society's Archives. However, for reasons of cost and storage, we decided to donate these collections to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to supplement their horticultural herbarium at Wisley, Surrey. The incorporation of the specimens took place between 2005 and 2007, and an account of this exercise appeared in the Pteridologist for 2008. A pdf version of this article is available here.

Although no longer in the Society's possession, this collection is available for inspection at Wisley by contacting the Keeper of the Herbarium at Wisley. A list of the ferns in the Society's herbarium now at Wisley is available here (pdf) and as an MS Excel spreadsheet.

What more is required?

Extensive as the Society's collection was, there are still many ferns now in cultivation which were not represented. Undoubtedly the RHS' herbarium is developing into the world's premier herbarium resource for cultivated plants, and so this is a plea to fern growers to contribute a couple of fronds from some of their more interesting specimens to the RHS. The following documents which are available here in pdf format will assist in this:

"Collection and Preparation of Herbarium Fern Specimens" (pdf)

Pro-Forma (pdf) to accompany the specimens.

Image Rights Form (pdf) to accompany fern photographs (complete two copies of this, send one with the images and retain the other for your own records).

The RHS have provided a list of all the ferns in their herbarium, so if you are growing ferns under names not on this list, please consider donating a specimen to the RHS herbarium.
The RHS list of ferns in their herbarium is available here (pdf). Note that this list includes the Society's ferns.



RHS Herbarium
Most herbaria are concerned primarily with wild plants from various parts of the world. However, at the RHS Herbarium housed in the Laboratory at RHS Garden Wisley, the emphasis is on ornamental garden plants. This collection amounts to about 75,000 specimens, and this number is increasing all the time. The oldest specimen is one of Lavandula angustifolia from 1731 but the majority of specimens are from the last 50 years. The concept of nomenclatural standard specimens and Standard Portfolios have been developed for cultivated plants at Wisley to loosely equate to the Type specimens for new wild species.



Copyright ©1997-2008 British Pteridological Society

This page was last updated on 15/7/08