General Herbarium

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Banksia serrata or Old Man Banksia, collected by Jospeph Banks and Daniel Solander on Captain Cooks voyage of discovery to Australasia (1769 - 1771).

The Museum's two million General Herbarium specimens represent a unique global resource for studying global seed plant diversity. 

Carpological specimens are housed at the end of each order.

The collection also includes a separate historical collection of seeds, a spirit collection and microscopic slides. 

Collection strengths

The Museum holds major seed plant collections and an estimated 110,000 nomenclaturally important type specimens.

The collections in the General Herbarium are from all over the world except Britain and Ireland; these are found in the The British and Irish Herbarium. Pre-Linnean collections are also curated separately, in the Historical Collections. 

The General Herbarium is managed in four sections (General Herbarium I–IV) with each section managed by a curator: General Herbarium I comprises the gymnosperms, 'basal' angisperms, the monocotyledons, and non-core eudicotyledons. General Herbarium II comprises the fabids. General Herbarium III comprises the malvids and the superasterids, except for the lamiids and campanulids, which is under General Herbarium IV.

For details of the families curated by each section, please see the Classification and Arrangement of the General Herbarium at the Museum cladogram (PDF, 1.41MB).

Looking for a specimen?

Parts of the Botany collection are being digitised

Any questions?

If you would like to use any specimens for research, please get in touch with the curator for the appropriate section.

For details of the families curated by each section, please see the Classification and Arrangement of the General Herbarium at the Museum cladogram (PDF, 1.41MB).

Contact the curators

General Herbarium I
Norbert Holstein (staff page)
Email Norbert Holstein

General Herbarium II
Jacek Wajer (staff page)
Email Jacek Wajer

General Herbarium III
Jovita Yesilyurt (staff page)
Email Jovita Yesilyurt

General Herbarium IV
Ranee Prakash (staff page)
Email Ranee Prakash

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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.

Contact the curator