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Living Collection Virtual Herbarium

Most plants in a botanic garden are grown not only for their aesthetic beauty but also for their scientific value. Therefore correct and up-to-date labelling is essential to enable the collection to be used for research, and also to inform the public of the correct usage of names.

Virtual Herbarium (Image: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

In this project we are creating an online database resulting from the plant name verification activities, which are ongoing at Kew. It presents several sources of data specific to the taxa verified:

1. Photographs of the plant with a black background, scale and colour chart.
2. Images taken using a light microscope, showing morphological details of the diagnostic characters of the species.
3. Detailed notes covering identification characters and useful literature.
4. Notes about the accession, and origin and collection data.

The taxonomic pages are aimed at horticulturists but also, because of the detailed notes and microscopical images, they can be used by botanists, ecologists, systematists, morphologists, students and teachers. So far, approximately 1550 of these pages have been created.

Link to the Living collection virtual herbarium: coming soon!

Project team

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Katie Price, Anthony Hall, David Cooke, Lucy Hart, Noelia Alvarez, Shirley Stark, Joy Corbett, Helen Marriage, Graham Walters

Science Teams: 
Project Leader: