The Museum’s lichen collection is one of the world's largest and is an important research resource.
The collection consists of about 400,000 specimens and at least 10,000 type specimens.
We hold important historical collections, such as material collected by:
The Museum does not keep collections of non-lichenised ascomycetes or basidiomycetes. This material was transferred to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew as a permanent loan.
The Museum retains a small reference collection of parasymbionts and a few saprophytic fungi, such as the genera Sarea and Stenocybe, which traditionally were often collected by lichenologists.
The Museum houses lichen collections from around the globe, including extensive collections from the southern hemisphere. Slime moulds are also curated within the lichen section.
A number of historic lichen collections of outstanding importance are curated separately from the main lichen herbaria. These include the Acharius Herbarium and what are likely to be the world’s earliest scientifically accurate fungi models.
Find out how to arrange a visit and borrow specimens from the lichen collections.
We are investigating the evolution, biodiversity, systematics and symbiosis of lichens.
Contact the botany collections team with scientific enquiries about the collections.
Lichens are adapted to a range of habitats around the world but sensitive to environmental changes.