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:
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.
We house one of the largest bryophyte herbaria with over 900,000 specimens and 32,000 type specimens.
Our collections include major historical and modern fern collections.
Find out about our seed plant collections, an important resource for the scientific community studying climate and vegetation changes.
We house outstanding palynological slide collection, representing all major vascular plant groups.
These collections contain silica gel-preserved material and DNA that enable investigation of plants at the molecular level.
Explore the history of our unique botany collections, covering a period of unprecedented exploration.
Our algal collections are among the largest in the world and a rich source of important historical material.
The collection is geographically and taxonomically diverse, with all major groups represented.
The Museum’s lichen collection is one of the world's largest and is an important research resource.