This website provides access to the NHN herbarium specimens and images. NHN is the botany department of Naturalis Biodiversity Center.
The NHN herbarium database incorporates data from various sources. A majority of records relate to specimens held at one of the NHN herbaria (L, U & WAG). The database also contains records of duplicates sent to other herbaria, specimens databased for taxonomic revision and from areas of special interest to NHN, for instance Gabon.
The three NHN herbaria each have their own focus. Leiden (L) is by far the largest of the three, with c.4 million specimens, is well-known for its extensive collections from South-East Asia, especially from Indonesia and New Guinea. It also holds a large collection of palearctic plants and is the principle herbarium for Dutch plants. As the oldest Dutch herbarium, it also contains several historic collections.
The former herbarium of Utrecht University (U), now housed in Leiden, has a strong focus on tropical America, especially the Guianas and the Netherlands Antilles. It has around 800,000 collections.
The herbarium of Wageningen University (WAG) houses ca. 900,000 specimens. It focuses on tropical Africa, with particular emphasis on material from the rain forests of west and central Africa, but it also holds an important collection of Ethiopian plants. Since Wageningen has its origin in an Agricultural University, WAG also contains many cultivated plants. Wageningen curates one historical collection separately: The Clifford Herbarium.
The map of Africa shows the geographic distribution across this continent of georeferenced records in the NHN database. This image mostly reflects collections from WAG, and shows the focus on plants from the rain forests of central and west Africa. The NHN coordinates several flora projects. Flora Malesiana and Flora of the Guianas have their seat in Leiden, while the 'Flore du Benin' and 'Flore du Gabon' are coordinated from Wageningen. Most collections from Gabon can be retrieved at this site, but also on a site dedicated especially to Gabonese plants. The analysis of collections per decade shows that most collections were made in the second half of the 20th century, with an apparent decrease at the start of the 21st century. As is also apparent in the graph, the second world war clearly had an effect on collecting efforts. Peaks in collection effort per decade will not be the same for all regions of the world. Most European collections are old, while some tropical areas have their peak far more recent.
The principal herbaria with which we exchange data are:
We want to acknowledge our partners for sharing their specimen data with us; likewise we offer data for duplicates we distribute ourselves.
Copyright of all images available on this website lies with NCB Naturalis and/or the photographers. These images may be used for educational purposes and scientific presentations. All other forms of usage like publications, and any commercial usage is prohibited without prior written consent from Naturalis.
Site published by Jan Wieringa, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre - section NHN.