What is a herbarium?

Episode: 9
Title: What is a herbarium?
Broadcast:18th October
Presenter: Kim

A Herbarium is one the most important places in a botanic garden and yet one that the public rarely get to see.

  • The National Herbarium of Victoria contains one of the largest herbarium collections in Australia, and the richest in historical and type specimens.
  • Among the Australian collection are plants collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander at Botany Bay in 1770.
  • Other historical riches include over 2,000 specimens collected by Robert Brown during Flinders’ circumnavigation of Australia (1801 – 1805), and several hundred specimens collected on Burke and Wills’ expedition.
  • This Herbarium building also houses a library of botanical literature and artwork.
  • Herbariums are not generally open to the public daily however, keep an eye out at your local botanic gardens for the next herbarium open day, not only are they interesting places to visit, they are a fascinating piece of our botanic history.