Herbaria are collections of preserved plant specimens that act as a permanent record of that species. Each herbarium sheet documents the collector of the specimen, where it was found and when. Herbaria are vital sources of information, we use them in taxonomic research to compare different species, we can find out about past distributions of plants by seeing where specimens came from and we can extract DNA from herbarium specimens for use in DNA barcoding and conservation genetics research.
The national herbarium for Wales is found in the National Museum Wales in Cardiff, here at the National Botanic Garden of Wales we are establishing a smaller herbarium, we have three core collections:
- The James Cosmo Melvill herbarium kindly donated to the Garden by Harrow School.
- Voucher specimens for our Barcode Wales project
- Voucher specimens for wild collected plants growing in the Garden and found in Waun Las NNR.
We are very grateful for the financial support from the Finnis Scott Foundation in the establishment of our herbarium.