Fungarium specimens > Kew Science > Collections

Kew's scientific collections

With over 8.5 million items, Kew houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world. They represent over 95% of known flowering plant genera and more than 60% of known fungal genera.

Kew's scientific collections

Kew's Fungarium

Overview of collections at Kew

Find out more about Kew's botanical and mycological collections as well as its library, art and archive collections.
Inside Kew's Herbarium


Kew’s Herbarium contains around seven million preserved plant specimens. These specimens contain a wealth of information about plants that have been collected around the world over the past 150 years. This priceless resource is used for research into plant diversity and uses.

Fungarium specimens


Kew's Fungarium contains specimens from every part of the globe, and reflects the importance of fungi as providers of food, medicines, enzymes and essential ecosystem services.
Picture shows glass jars lying on their side on a shelf. Each jar contains seeds. (Image: Wolfgang Stuppy)

Seed Collection

Within the vault of the Millennium Seed Bank is the Seed Collection, which represents the greatest concentration of living seed-plant biodiversity on earth. The bank is a global resource for conservation and sustainable use of plants.

Economic Botany Collection

Economic Botany Collection

Kew's Economic Botany Collection illustrates the extent of human use of plants around the world. The huge variety of objects includes artefacts made from plants, as well as raw plant materials, such as wood samples.

DNA and Tissue Bank

DNA and Tissue Bank

Kew’s DNA and Tissue Bank contains approximately 58,000 samples representing nearly all families (507 families), and over half the genera (around 7,100) of flowering plants. The composition of the collection reflects studies carried out at Kew over the last 24 years.

Microscope Slide Collection

Microscope Slide Collection

Kew’s microscope slide collection holds over 150,000 specimens from a diverse range of plant taxa, particularly from seed-producing plants. The slides include leaf surfaces and sections, pollen, wood, roots and chromosomes.

Reading Room display


Kew’s Library contains nearly 2,000 years of plant knowledge and discovery including information on the naming, classification and uses of plants, plant ecology and conservation, and wild plants of the world.

Illustrations collection

Illustrations and Artefact Collections

The Illustrations and Artefact Collections are a world renowned resource for botanical illustration forming an exceptional visual record for species of plants and fungi.

Archives collection

The Archive collection

The Archive collection forms a valuable and unique resource on the history of the discovery, study, transfer and use of the world's plants and fungi.

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