The Herbarium at Kew A hub of ground-breaking scientific discovery
The world's largest fungarium The fungarium at Kew holds around 1.25 million specimens
DNA research Changing the way we identify plants
Kew houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world.
The collections include around 7 million dried plant specimens in the Herbarium; a living collection of over 19,000 plant species spanning two sites (Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place); the Fungarium containing 1.25 million dried fungal specimens; over 150,000 glass slides detailing plant micro-traits; 95,000 economic botany specimens; the world’s largest wild plant DNA and tissue bank (including 50,000 DNA samples representing over 35,000 species); and over 2 billion seeds (from around 35,000 species) in the Millennium Seed Bank, in addition to many other smaller collections and databases. Alongside the physical collections, Kew holds a vast and growing collection of plant and fungal-related data and databases storing information on collections, names, taxonomy, traits, distributions, phylogenies, phenology and conservation.
Browse this section to learn more about Kew's extensive collections of plant and fungal specimens and search the collections online.
Herbaria are collections of dried, preserved specimens that document the identity of plants. Kew's Herbarium is one of the largest in the world, holding some seven million specimens, and plays a central role in research into plant biodiversity around the world.
Economic Botany Collection
A valuable resource for the study of plant uses past, present and future, Kew's Economic Botany Collection includes artefacts made from plants and raw plant materials, showing how humans have made use of plants for food, medicine, utensils, and clothing.