Botany collections

red seaweed on white background

The Museum's botany collection holds an estimated six million specimens of bryophytes, ferns, seed plants and slime moulds from all over the world.

The botanical collection spans a period from the 17th century to the present and includes a number of historically important collections such as those of:

  • Sir Hans Sloane
  • Sir Joseph Banks
  • Charles Darwin

Looking for a specimen?

The botany collection is being digitised

Accessing the collections

Scientists and collections management specialists can visit the collections and borrow specimens for research.

Collections management

Our duty is to provide a safe and secure environment for all of our collections.

Collections on the move

We have set out on an ambitious programme to develop a new science and digitisation centre at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire by 2026. As we prepare for the move, access to some collections will be affected.

Find out more and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on changes to collections access, relevant news and opportunities to get involved.