Freshwater and terrestrial green algae

This varied section of the algal collections (excluding Charophytes) includes species whose features are best appreciated under the microscope.


  • dried/pressed herbarium specimens
  • microscope slides
  • liquid-preserved material 
  • a very small number of boxed bulky specimens (eg for 'Cladophora' balls)

The majority of these collections consist of historic specimens from the nineteenth century, often preserved by air drying the samples onto paper and attaching them to herbarium sheets.

Phycopeltis arundinacea

Phycopeltis arundinacea growing on an ivy leaf © Chris Carter.

Particularly noteworthy are the collections of two leading world experts in freshwater algae in the late 1800s, William and George West.

New material is still added to this collection. For example, the arial alga Phycopeltis arundinacea was recently found in West Sussex, which represents an interesting range extension for this species in the UK. A voucher specimen was kindly sent for incorporation into the Museum collection.

Current projects