About the collections

The Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh holds about 3 million specimens of plants and fungi from around the world. The collections cover over 300 years of plant diversity (the oldest specimen dates from 1697) and we continue to receive up to 30,000 specimens each year. The more recent specimens reflect the taxonomic and geographic focus of researchers and collectors at the RBGE over the past hundred years.

The collection is actively used to support research at the RBGE and at other institutions around the world. Each year we receive visits from about 200 scientists and we send about 4,000 specimens out on loan.

The mounted herbarium is complemented by a spirit collection (specimens stored in jars of alcohol) of over 7,000 specimens, a carpological collection (fruit seeds) and wood samples.

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)