The Nordic herbarium
Collections
Department of Phanerogamic Botany
Swedish Museum of Natural History (S)

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The Nordic herbarium has more than 1 million specimens, gathered during the 250 years that have passed since the late 18th century. The material has been collected in many different places, and is therefore a valuable source for understanding morphological variation within species. Furthermore, the collections are used to elucidate the distribution, past and present, of the various species. Thus floristic changes can be studied, increasing our knowledge and made available for conservation purposes.
The collections include material collected by Carolus Linnaeus, Pehr Osbeck, Lars Levi Laestadius, Sten Selander, and several others.

All species of vascular plants, ever to have been found in the Nordic countries, are presented in a checklist with latin as well as Swedish synonyms, 'Checklista över Nordens kärlväxter' [in swedish].
A presentation of the wild and naturalized species of Sweden are presented on the Internet in a virtual flora named 'Den virtuella floran' [in swedish].

Except for the main collection, the Nordic herbarium also have a number of larger, separate collections that have been donated to the museum. In due time, these collections will be integrated with the main collection of Nordic material.
There is also a number of specimens preserved in alcohol, among others several collections by Nathorst from Spitsbergen. The entire Nordic material in alcohol is available in a database, botanical collections in alcohol.
The Nordic herbarium collections have been entered into a database for some time, the work is time consuming and has so far been concentrated to material in a number of separate collections outside of the main collection. Only a small fraction of the total number of specimens have been entered into a database, but the number increases continuously.
In the Nordic herbarium, the specimens are ordered geographically by country, and the swedish material also by landscape. The names of the provinces in the Nordic countries is presented in a separate list, which is used for the databases. Registered material is available in two different databases which are updated as new data is added, the main collections of the Nordic herbarium and the collections of the Nordic herbarium - specimens/province indicating the number of specimens per landscape.
Type material from the Nordic countries is kept in the botanical type collection database.

A large number of botanists, professionals as well as amateurs, visit the herbarium each year to study the collections. Before visiting the Nordic herbarium, please contact the curator Thomas Karlsson.


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Latest update: 10 June 2003
Comments on this page: Arne Anderberg
Comments on the Swedish Museum of Natural History website