The Natural History Museum houses one of the most important collections of ferns and other seed-free vascular plants in the world, with around 280,000 specimens.
Covering global fern diversity, the collections have particular geographical strengths in:
The collections span from the 17th century to the present day and are especially valuable given their richness in types and historical collections. Our fern type specimens are estimated to exceed 7,000 in number, representing perhaps 20% of published fern names.
Details of the numbers of specimens and preparation types in the Museum's fern collections.
The Museum holds important historical fern collections, including those of the founder of modern fern taxonomy, as well as modern collections from around the globe.
Learn more about the curation of fern collections at the Museum.