Here are some notable herbaria in the world -best destinations for plants and garden enthusiasts. Some of the most comprehensive herbaria are located in Europe, the United States and Australia.
1. Botanical Garden: Berlin, Germany
The Botanical Garden which is located in Berlin, Germany contains about 3 million specimens. Its name in German is Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem and is considered one of the most important gardens in the world. It has an area of 43 hectares and around 22,000 different plant species and was constructed between 1897 and 1910. It is presently part of the Free University of Berlin. The Botanical Museum (Botanische Museum), with a large herbarium (Herbarium Berolinense) and a large scientific library, is attached to the garden.
2. National Botanic Garden: Belgium
The National Botanic Garden of Belgium contains 3,500,000 specimens and is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world with an extensive collection of living plants in addition to herbaria of over 3 million specimens. The Botanic Garden contains about 18,000 plant species—about 6% of all known plant species of the world. Half are in greenhouses, the other half, including cultivated and indigenous plants, are outdoors. The gardens aregrouped around the castle and lake of the Bouchout domaine.
3. Komarov Botanical Institute: St. Petersburg, Russia
The Komarov Botanical Institute that contains 7,160,000 specimens is a leading botanical institution in Russia. It is located on Aptekarsky Island in St. Petersburg and is named after the Russian botanist Vladimir Leontyevich Komarov (1869-1945). The institute was established in 1931 as merger of the Botanical Garden and the Botanical Museum of the Academy of Sciences. The institute hosts St. Petersburg Botanical Garden as well as herbarium collections that house over 7 million specimens of plants and fungi. The latter is the largest collection in Russia, and among the three largest in the world.
4. Kew Gardens: London, UK
First on the list is a botanical garden in London. Kew Gardens has about 7 million specimens from all over the world and is one of the largest herbaria in the world. The Royal Botanic Gardens or simply Kew Gardens are extensive gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England.
Kew Gardens is a leading center of botanical research, a training ground for professional gardeners and a visitor attraction. In 2005 Kew received 1.48 million visitors, which was the most since 1949 and is the largest number for any paid entry garden in the United Kingdom. In the winter months there is an ice rink.
Image Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kew_Gardens
Other attractions include; Alpine house, Chokushi-Mon, Compost heap, Guided walks, International Garden Photographer of the year Exhibition, Kew Place, Minka house and many others. Plant collections include; Carnivorous plant, cacti plant, grass, azalea, bamboo, herb, orchids and many others.
5. Jardin des Plantes: Paris, France
When you visit France, which is the world’s top tourist destination, pay a visit to its largest botanical garden – The Jardin des Plantes. It is situated in the Seme arrondissement, Paris, on the left bank of the river Seine. It covers 28 hectares. The Museum national d’ Histoire Naturelle is situated within the garden. In addition to the gardens
there is also an aquarium and a small zoo. The Jardin des Plantes maintains a botanical school, which trains botanists, constructs demonstration gardens, and exchanges seeds to maintain biotic diversity. About 4500 plants are arranged by family on a one hectare plot.
Image Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardin_des_Plantes
Three hectares are devoted to horticultural displays of decorative plants. An Alpine garden has 3000 species with world-wide representation. Specialized buildings, such as a large Art Deco winter garden, and Mexican and Australian hothouses display regional plants, not native to France. The Rose Garden, created in 1990, has hundreds of species of roses and rose trees.
6. Harvard University Herbaria: USA
The Harvard University Herbaria and Botanical Museum are institutions located on the grounds of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The museum is one of three which comprise the Harvard Museum of Natural History. These herbaria which were founded in 1842 are one of the 10 largest in the world with over 5 million specimens.
7. New York Botanical Garden: New York City, NY, USA
The prestigious New York Botanical Garden also known as The NYBG is a prestigious botanical garden in New York City that contains 7 million specimens. It is one of the premier botanical gardens in the US located in a 250 acres or 1.0 km² in Bronx Park and is home to some of the world’s leading plant laboratories. It presents major exhibitions and flower shows throughout the year, drawing over 800,000 visitors annually.
The Garden contains 48 different gardens and plant collections. Sightseers can easily spend a day admiring the serene cascade waterfall, wetlands and a 50 acre (200,000 m²) tract of never-harvested oaks, American beeches, cherry, birch, tulip and white ash trees — some more than two centuries old.
8. Missouri Botanical Garden: Missouri, USA
The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis contains 5,870,000 specimens. This impressive botanical garden is also known informally as Shaw’s Garden for founder Henry Shaw, a botanist and philanthropist. Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the US and a National Historic Landmark. The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education of international repute, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis, with 79 acres (31 hectares) of horticultural display.
9. US Botanic Garden: Washington DC, USA
Another comprehensive herbarium in the US is the United States Botanic Garden. The USBG is located on the grounds of the US Capitol in Washington DC, near Garfield Circle.
10. Royal Botanic Gardens: Melbourne, Australia
The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne which is considered as the finest botanical gardens in Australia contain 1,200,000 specimens. It is also noted for their historical contribution to the introduction of invasive species. They are comprised of 354,000 square meters or 35 hectares of landscaped gardens consisting of a mix of native and non-native vegetation including over 10,000 individual species.
11. Royal Botanic Gardens: Sydney, Australia
Another beautiful herbarium found in Australia is the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney which contain about 1,000,000 specimens and are the largest of three major botanical gardens open to the public in Sydney, along with the Mt. Annan Botanic Garden and the Mt. Tomah Botanic Garden. The park is free to access and open every day of the year.
The collector for a herbarium selects perfect specimens of each plant. The whole plant is arranged in a natural position and pressed between sheets and blotting paper. When dry, each specimen is mounted on a sheet of heavy paper.
Anyway, a herbarium is a collection of plants, reserved for storage and display and systematically arrange for scientific study. Properly dried and mounted, plants keep for centuries.