Seed plant collections

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Banksia serrata or Old Man Banksia, collected by Jospeph Banks and Daniel Solander on Captain Cooks voyage of discovery to Australasia (1769 - 1771).

The Museum's three million seed plant specimens represent a unique global resource for the scientific community and society as a whole.


The Museum holds major seed plant collections from around the world and an estimated 110,000 nomenclaturally important type specimens.

For some groups and geographical areas, the collections provide an important time series that can be used to research changes in climate and vegetation.

Major collections

The seed plant collection contains numerous major collections and important historical collections.

The earliest collections date from the 17th century and following the foundation of the British Museum in 1753 whose natural history collections grew into the Natural History Museum, new material has been continuously added.

Looking for a specimen?

Parts of the Botany collection are being digitised

Any questions ?

If you would like to use any specimens for research, please get in touch

Flowering plant curator

Ranee Prakash


Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Contact the curator