Botanical collections

The Museum’s plant collections comprise an estimated 6 million specimens of bryophytes, ferns, seed plants and slime moulds.

The collections are worldwide in origin with around 10% from the British Isles.

They span a period from the 17th century to the present and include a number of historically important collections such as those of:

  • Sir Hans Sloane
  • Sir Joseph Banks
  • Charles Darwin

Type specimens

A comparatively high percentage of specimens are type material - some 2.6%.

The department is part of a major international project to database and image type specimens. These data and images are being made available via online collections.

Contact us 

Botany collections team

Contact the botany collections team with scientific enquiries about the collections.