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.