Contents 1 History 2 Specimen preservation 3 Collections management 4 Uses 5 Institutional herbaria 6 See also 7 External links 8 References

History[edit] The oldest traditions of making herbarium collection or Hortus sicci have been traced to Italy. Luca Ghini and his students created herbaria of which the oldest extant one is that of Gherardo Cibo from around 1532.[6] While most of the early herbaria were prepared with sheets bound into books, Carolus Linnaeus came up with the idea of maintaining them on free sheets that allowed their easy re-ordering within cabinets.[7]

Specimen preservation[edit] Preparing a plant for mounting Commensurate with the need of wildlife conservation, it is often desirable to include in a herbarium sheet as much of the plant as possible (e.g., flowers, stems, leaves, seed, and fruit), or at least representative parts of them in the case of large specimens.[8] To preserve their form and colour, plants collected in the field are carefully arranged and spread flat between thin sheets, known as 'flimsies', (equivalent to sheets of newsprint) and dried, usually in a plant press, between blotters or absorbent paper.[8] During the drying process the specimens are retained within their flimsies at all times to minimise damage, and only the thicker, absorbent drying sheets are replaced. For some plants it may prove helpful to allow the fresh specimen to wilt slightly before being arranged for the press. An opportunity to check, rearrange and further lay out the specimen to best reveal the required features of the plant occurs when the damp absorbent sheets are changed during the drying/pressing process. The specimens, which are then mounted on sheets of stiff white paper, are labelled with all essential data, such as date and place found, description of the plant, altitude, and special habitat conditions. The sheet is then placed in a protective case. As a precaution against insect attack, the pressed plant is frozen or poisoned, and the case disinfected. Certain groups of plants are soft, bulky, or otherwise not amenable to drying and mounting on sheets. For these plants, other methods of preparation and storage may be used. For example, conifer cones and palm fronds may be stored in labelled boxes. Representative flowers or fruits may be pickled in formaldehyde to preserve their three-dimensional structure. Small specimens, such as mosses and lichens, are often air-dried and packaged in small paper envelopes.[2] No matter the method of preservation, detailed information on where and when the plant was collected, habitat, color (since it may fade over time), and the name of the collector is usually included. The value of a herbarium is much enhanced by the possession of “types”, that is, the original specimens on which the study of a species was founded. Thus the herbarium at the British Museum, which is especially rich in the earlier collections made in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, contains the types of many species founded by the earlier workers in botany. It is also rich in types of Australian plants from the collections of Sir Joseph Banks and Robert Brown, and contains in addition many valuable modern collections. [9]

Collections management[edit] A large herbarium may have hundreds of cases filled with specimens. Most herbaria utilize a standard system of organizing their specimens into herbarium cases. Specimen sheets are stacked in groups by the species to which they belong and placed into a large lightweight folder that is labelled on the bottom edge. Groups of species folders are then placed together into larger, heavier folders by genus. The genus folders are then sorted by taxonomic family according to the standard system selected for use by the herbarium and placed into pigeonholes in herbarium cabinets.[10] Locating a specimen filed in the herbarium requires knowing the nomenclature and classification used by the herbarium. It also requires familiarity with possible name changes that have occurred since the specimen was collected, since the specimen may be filed under an older name. Modern herbaria often maintain electronic databases of their collections. Many herbaria have initiatives to digitize specimens to produce a virtual herbarium. These records and images are made publicly accessible via the Internet when possible.

Uses[edit] Herbarium collections can have great significance and value to science, and have a large number of uses.[11][12] Herbaria are essential for the study of plant taxonomy, the study of geographic distributions, and the stabilizing of nomenclature. Linnaeus's herbarium now belongs to the Linnean Society in England. Specimens housed in herbaria may be used to catalogue or identify the flora of an area. A large collection from a single area is used in writing a field guide or manual to aid in the identification of plants that grow there. With more specimens available, the author of the guide will better understand the variability of form in the plants and the natural distribution over which the plants grow. Herbaria also preserve a historical record of change in vegetation over time. In some cases, plants become extinct in one area or may become extinct altogether. In such cases, specimens preserved in an herbarium can represent the only record of the plant's original distribution. Environmental scientists make use of such data to track changes in climate and human impact. Herbaria have also proven very useful as sources of plant DNA for use in taxonomy and molecular systematics Many kinds of scientists and naturalists use herbaria to preserve voucher specimens; representative samples of plants used in a particular study to demonstrate precisely the source of their data, or to enable confirmation of identification at a future date.[8] They may also be a repository of viable seeds for rare species.[13]

Institutional herbaria[edit] The Swedish Museum of Natural History (S) Main article: List of herbaria Many universities, museums, and botanical gardens maintain herbaria. The largest herbaria in the world, in approximate order of decreasing size, are: Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (P) (Paris, France) New York Botanical Garden (NY) (Bronx, New York, USA) Komarov Botanical Institute (LE) (St. Petersburg, Russia) Royal Botanic Gardens (K) (Kew, England, UK) Missouri Botanical Garden (MO) (St. Louis, Missouri, USA) Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève (G) (Geneva, Switzerland) Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Nationaal Herbarium Nederland) (AMD, L, U, WAG) (Leiden, Netherlands) The Natural History Museum (BM) (London, England, UK) Harvard University (HUH) (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) Museum of Natural History of Vienna (W) (Vienna, Austria) Swedish Museum of Natural History (S) (Stockholm, Sweden) United States National Herbarium (Smithsonian Institution) (US) (Washington, DC, USA) Université Montpellier (MPU) (Montpellier, France) Université Claude Bernard (LY) (Villeurbanne, France) Herbarium Universitatis Florentinae (FI) (Florence, Italy) National Botanic Garden of Belgium (BR) (Meise, Belgium) University of Helsinki (H) (Helsinki, Finland) Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Zentraleinrichtung der Freien Universität Berlin (B) (Berlin, Germany) The Field Museum (F) (Chicago, Illinois, USA) University of Copenhagen (C) (Copenhagen, Denmark) Chinese National Herbarium, (Chinese Academy of Sciences) (PE) (Beijing, People's Republic of China) University and Jepson Herbaria (UC/JEPS) (Berkeley, California, USA) Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (E) (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) Herbarium Bogoriense (BO) (Bogor, West Java, Indonesia) Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden (Central National Herbarium (CAL), Howrah, India) Herbarium Hamburgense (HBG) (Hamburg, Germany)

See also[edit] Herbal List of herbaria Plant collecting Plant taxonomy Systematics Virtual herbarium Pressed flower craft

External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Herbarium. For links to a specific herbarium or institution, see the List of herbaria. Index Herbariorum Linnean Herbarium Lamarck's Herbarium (online database with 20,000 sheets in HD) French Herbaria Network Montpellier Herbarium

References[edit] ^ Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Garden. "Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - What is a herbarium". Retrieved 2016-03-25.  ^ a b "Preparing and Storing Herbarium Specimens" (PDF). Conserve O Gram. National Park Service. November 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2016.  ^ "Fungarium". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  ^ "Wood collection (xylarium)". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  ^ "Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium". Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  ^ Sprague, T. A.; Nelmes, E. (1931). "The Herbal of Leonhart Fuchs". Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Botany. 48 (325): 545. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1931.tb00596.x.  ^ Müller-Wille, Staffan (2006-06-01). "Linnaeus' herbarium cabinet: a piece of furniture and its function". Endeavour. 30 (2): 60–64. doi:10.1016/j.endeavour.2006.03.001.  ^ a b c Chater, Arthur O. "Collecting and Pressing Specimens" (PDF). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  ^ "Herbarium", Parkstone Press International 2014 ^ "HerbWeb - What is a Herbarium". Retrieved 2016-03-25.  ^ Funk, Vicki (January 2003). "The Importance of Herbaria". Plant Science Bulletin. 49 (3): 94–94. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  ^ Funk, Vicki. "100 Uses for an Herbarium (Well at Least 72)" (PDF). The Yale University Herbarium. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  ^ Wiley online library v t e Botany History of botany Subdisciplines Plant systematics Ethnobotany Paleobotany Plant anatomy Plant ecology Phytogeography Geobotany Flora Phytochemistry Plant pathology Bryology Phycology Floristics Dendrology Plant groups Algae Archaeplastida Bryophyte Non-vascular plants Vascular plants Spermatophytes Pteridophyte Gymnosperm Angiosperm Plant morphology (glossary) Plant cells Cell wall Phragmoplast Plastid Plasmodesma Vacuole Tissues Meristem Vascular tissue Vascular bundle Ground tissue Mesophyll Cork Wood Storage organs Vegetative Root Rhizoid Bulb Rhizome Shoot Stem Leaf Petiole Cataphyll Bud Sessility Reproductive (Flower) Flower development Inflorescence Umbel Raceme Bract Pedicellate Flower Whorl Floral symmetry Floral diagram Floral formula Receptacle Hypanthium (Floral cup) Perianth Tepal Petal Sepal Sporophyll Gynoecium Ovary Ovule Stigma Archegonium Androecium Stamen Staminode Pollen Tapetum Gynandrium Gametophyte Sporophyte Plant embryo Fruit Fruit anatomy Berry Capsule Seed Seed dispersal Endosperm Surface structures Epicuticular wax Plant cuticle Epidermis Stoma Nectary Trichome Prickle Plant physiology Materials Nutrition Photosynthesis Chlorophyll Plant hormone Transpiration Turgor pressure Bulk flow Aleurone Phytomelanin Sugar Sap Starch Cellulose Plant growth and habit Secondary growth Woody plants Herbaceous plants Habit Vines Lianas Shrubs Subshrubs Trees Succulent plants Reproduction Evolution Ecology Alternation of generations Sporangium Spore Microsporangia Microspore Megasporangium Megaspore Pollination Pollinators Pollen tube Double fertilization Germination Evolutionary development Evolutionary history timeline Hardiness zone Plant taxonomy History of plant systematics Herbarium Biological classification Botanical nomenclature Botanical name Correct name Author citation International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) - for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) Taxonomic rank International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT) Plant taxonomy systems Cultivated plant taxonomy Citrus taxonomy cultigen cultivar Group grex Practice Agronomy Floriculture Forestry Horticulture Lists Related topics Botanical terms Botanists by author abbreviation Botanical expedition Category Portal WikiProject Retrieved from "" Categories: Plant taxonomyHerbaria

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