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.

Find out more 

The brown alga Fucus vesiculosus

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