A Herbarium is an official collection of dried plant specimens, which is used to name and describe plant taxa. It is often a botanical research institution, but may also be a collection within an academic institution. Herbaria house, maintain and database information about the plant and fungal specimens, and this information is made available to researchers, students, and the public around the globe.

In Australasia, more than 10 million specimens are found in Herbaria!


Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria


Managers of Australasian Herbarium Collections


The Herbarium Information Systems Committee

Welcome to the Herbaria of Australasia

Herbaria in Australia and New Zealand are administered by a variety of government departments and educational institutions. They have the common goal of advancing knowledge of the taxonomy, distribution and conservation of Australasian flora.

The Commonwealth of Australia and each Australian State and Territory has an official Herbarium, primarily responsible for delivering botanical knowledge of their jurisdiction. In New Zealand, major Herbaria are located the larger cities of both the North and South Islands. Several smaller Herbaria are maintained by universities and other institutions in both countries.

Herbarium collections are never static; new specimens are added regularly, and ongoing botanical research refines taxonomic concepts and ensures the accuracy and appropriateness of botanical information. The online Australasian Virtual Herbarium provides specimen level information for all collections maintained in Australasian Herbaria.

Herbarium guidance and management is through the ‘Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria’ (CHAH) with support from the ‘Managers of Australasian Herbarium Collections’ (MAHC) and the ‘The Herbarium Information Systems Committee’ (HISCOM). Each committee has a unique role in ensuring the Herbaria provide an ongoing, accurate and accessible window to Australasian flora.

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