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The RHS Herbarium is one of the leading horticultural herbaria in the world, and is the largest collection devoted to horticultural material in the UK.
The primary focus of the collection is to maintain and continue to acquire reference material of plants in cultivation. Reference material includes herbarium specimens, but also images in the form of drawings, paintings, prints, slides and digital photographs.
The RHS Herbarium currently has no means of storing other reference material such as spirit collections or DNA samples.
The following criteria are used for assessing whether material should be included in the RHS Herbarium:
Plants in cultivation in the UK and other temperate zones
Material that assists with the identification of plants from RHS members’ enquiries
Material of international significance (nomenclatural standards but also botanical types where relevant, for example new hybrids)
Voucher material relating to biochemical or molecular analyses in relation to horticultural research or the conservation of cultivated plants
Sources of material
A number of different collections have been donated to the RHS Herbarium over the years. Some of the more significant collections are:
Images are used to supplement dried material. They are good for recording both the colour of the living plant and its natural habit.
Find out more about the image collection
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We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.