Herbaria large and small.
|Sir Hans Sloane's herbarium sheets at NHM|
His 265 volumes of pressed specimens are housed (each in its own temperature- and humidity-controlled cabinet) in a purpose-built special collections room.
|Cabinets housing the Sloane volumes|
If you received your copy of BSBI News today, it contains a flyer about the AEM. Almost 3,000 fellow members received the same flyer as you, so if you want to join a herbarium tour, you'd better get your application in soon - the list fills up rapidly!
But some herbaria are much more humble. BSBI Administrator Clive Lovatt has a small herbarium at home, housed in a cabinet once owned by a hero of his, J.W. White, author of the Flora of Bristol (1912).
|Clive's modest but much-loved herbarium|
Image: C. Lovatt
Clive tells me, "My herbarium is overflowing - I need to buy another cabinet! We've found lots of interesting alien species around Bristol this year: the bronze New Zealand Carex comans self-sown in a paved street a few miles away (new to Somerset) and I've had two Physalis species without so much as going near a sewage works (which is where the last Bristol records were)".
I expect that Clive has pressed some specimens of these interesting alien species for his herbarium. Just as Sir Hans Sloane, J. W. White and many other botanists have done before him.
Want to leave a comment and tell me about your herbarium?