The herbarium houses around 400,000 specimens collected from all over the globe. It is listed on Index Herbariorum as RNG, and incorporates several other herbaria – RU, WRO, SOTON, SPN which complement our existing holdings. The herbarium forms part of the University of Reading museums, collections and archives but is funded and hosted within the School of Biological Sciences.
The collections form the basis of the publication of Flora Europea and the Euro+Med checklist. Extensive temperate South American specimens were used for the development of the Transecta Botánica del la Patagonica Austral and Flora of the Falkland Islands as well as other historic U.K. collections, including those of J.E. Louseley. There are also more general teaching and research collections that reflect the research activities of School of Biological Sciences and, before that, the departments of Botany and Agricultural Botany starting in 1897.
The herbarium is an actively curated collection and accessions about 1000 new specimens per year, making our holdings particularly useful for modern DNA based studies. At present we are adding the very well documented Cyclamen Society collections which complement our Mediterranean basin activities. We also actively participate in specimen exchange schemes in specific areas of interest.