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Carr's Kinabalu Collections

In 1933, C. E. Carr spent several months collecting orchids and other plants on the slopes of Gunung Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia (British North Borneo at the time). He used two numbering systems simultaneously: 1) Singapore Field Numbers (SFN-series), ranging from 26251 through 28059, for most herbarium samples of orchids and all herbarium samples of other plants; and 2) numbers ranging from 3001 through 3771 for spirit samples of orchids (usually matching a herbarium sample with the same number or with an SFN number) and for a small number of herbarium specimens. The only known document that matches the two number-series is Carr's notebook, now kept at the Singapore Botanic Gardens Herbarium (SING). It also includes extensive colour descriptions and other field observations for all the orchids collected during this trip.

The herbarium specimens have concise labels with only basic information. The first set is at SING, and other sets have been distributed. Carr processed only a few of his spirit samples, also stored in SING. After his death in 1936, most of his spirit collection was neglected. Some 350 samples were recovered recently, but they are in a poor state. Some samples were beyond recognition and have been discarded. All other samples are extremely fragile but still recognizable.

Both the notebook and the spirit samples are valuable because they enable a more accurate identification of the herbarium specimens. The notebook has been photocopied, and lists of matching 3000-series numbers and SFN numbers have been added for easy reference. Copies have been distributed to herbaria in possession of a set of Carr's herbarium collection from Gunung Kinabalu (BRI, C, K, L, LAE).

The spirit material is only available for examination at SING because the material is too fragile to be sent on loan.
J. J. Vermeulen, Herbarium, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569.

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New For You From Kew
Recent Orchid Nomenclature

January 2001.
Copyright The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.