Integrated Herbaria & Major Collections

Complete Herbaria

Botanical Society of Edinburgh (EBH)

This herbarium was incorporated with that of the University of Edinburgh from 1839-40. The foreign collections were moved to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1863 and the British collections followed shortly after.

University of Edinburgh (EGH)

The herbarium of the University of Edinburgh, after the inclusion of the Botanical Society of Scotland herbarium, was formally transferred to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1872. On the 14th November 1872, Professor John Hutton Balfour announced to the Society that work had started on the construction of a library building adjoining the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Garden, and both the library and herbarium were transferred to the Government.

Free Library & Museum Herbarium, Campeltown, Strathclyde (CTN)

It is not yet clear when this Herbarium was transferred to RBGE.

Plinian Society, Edinburgh (EDH)

The Plinian Society was founded in 1823 and disbanded in 1841. It is not yet clear when the Herbarium was transferred to RBGE.

University of Glasgow (GL) – not including British & Irish vascular plant collections

In 1965 the foreign collections (excluding cryptogams) of the University of Glasgow Herbarium were transferred to RBGE on permanent loan. The cryptogam collections were later also transferred in 2005. The University of Glasgow Herbarium also included the herbaria of Trinity College (GLG) and Clydebank High School (GOW).

Nature Conservancy Council, Edinburgh (NCCE)

It is not yet clear when this Herbarium was transferred to RBGE.

Major Collections

Parts of Herbaria or large private collections which may have multiple collectors within them.

Hope & Rutherford

In 1838 it was reported by the Society that the University Herbarium comprised about 50,000 specimens “but from this number a very large deduction must be made of species, chiefly in the collections of the late Professors Hope and Rutherford which, having neither dates nor stations assigned to them, cannot be rendered available for the Society’s purposes,- many of them being also cultivated specimens or otherwise defective”.

Christian Ramsay, Countess of Dalhousie

The East Indian Herbarium of the Countess of Dalhousie, was received by the Botanical Society of Edinburgh by 1837.

Augustin Abel Hector Léveillé

Acquired in 1919 by George Forrest and incorporated into the Herbarium at RBGE. Catalogued by Lauener in Notes and includes collections of E. Bodinier, J. Cavalerie, J. Esquirol, U. Faurie, E. E. Maire, E. J. Taquet.

New Caledonian specimens from University of Hull (HLU)

In 1966, 5,000 specimens collected from New Caledonia were received from the University of Hull.

Arctic specimens from University of Lancaster (LANC)

The arctic element of the LANC collection was transferred to RBGE in 2014 with the exception of Greenland material which is now in Tullie House Museum (CLE).

Henry Halcro Johnston (1856-1939)

Formerly at Stromness (STS) and now on permanent loan to RBGE, c. 5,000 specimens mainly from Orkney (VC 111, and some from Fetlar (VC 112). A most methodical collection with plants such as willows being collected in mature catkin and leaf stages from the same tree, with a clear explanation, fully documented and examined by specialists.


Acquired in 1845. Cryptogams. Also included Cleghorn specimens.