Seed plant collections

The Museum’s 3 million seed plant specimens represent a unique, global resource for the scientific community and society as a whole.

The collections have a broad geographical coverage. Geographical strengths include:

  • the British Isles
  • Central America
  • the West Indies
  • Australia
  • the Himalayas
  • the Balearic Islands
  • Macaronesia
  • Iberia
  • Greece

Other strengths are our major collections and the high number of nomenclaturally important type specimens that we hold - some 110,000.

We also have numerous important historical collections. Our earliest collections date from the 17th century and, following the foundation of the British Museum in 1753 whose natural history collections grew into the Natural History Museum, new material has been continuously added.

For some groups and geographical areas these collections represent an important time series that can be used to look at changes in climate and vegetation.

The Museum’s Earth Sciences Department holds an important collection of fossil plants.

Palaeobotany collections

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