Algal collections

The Natural History Museum's collection of algae is one of the largest in the world, with over a quarter of a million specimens from around the globe. These account for about 5% of the Botany Department's holdings.

The algal herbaria hold: 

  • important historical material from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries 
  • expanding contemporary collections
  • some of the earliest specimens held in the Museum, dating back to the 17th century

Diatoms are curated separately. See diatom collections for more information.

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The brown alga Fucus vesiculosus
Algae

These diverse organisms range from single-celled species to giant kelps over 50 metres long.