University of Otago Magazine, Vol. 38, ‘Whatever happened to the Herbarium?’



June, 2014


Botany Department, University of Otago


University of Otago


A herbarium or ‘library of plants’ contains dried and preserved specimens of plants, fungi, algae (seaweeds) and bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). The Otago Regional Herbarium, housed within the main building of the Botany Department, was established by Professor Geoff Baylis in the 1950s. The collection continues to expand, with some 70,000 specimens now in the Herbarium and it continues to play an important role in the Department. It provides an important historical record (the oldest specimen dates from the 1880s), and is vital for use in teaching and research. The largest herbarium in the world is housed at the Natural History Museum in Paris and has 9,500,000 specimens.


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Karen Hogg, “University of Otago Magazine, Vol. 38, ‘Whatever happened to the Herbarium?’,” | OUR Heritage, accessed March 29, 2023,