The botanical collections of the Auckland Museum Herbarium were first established in 1870, about 18 years after the Museum was founded.
The Herbarium provides the basic means by which the Museums Botany Department can carry out the collection and preservation of botanical materials. It also provides educational services (through public enquiries, individual and group visits, outreach programmes, and the display of plant material), and research and publication on various aspects of the New Zealand flora.
Scope of the collections
The Herbarium contains comprehensive collections of all plant groups (except fungi) found naturally in New Zealand, with emphasis on the northern half of the North Island and its offshore islands. Islands with strong representation include: the Kermadecs, Three Kings, Motuopao, Moturoas, Stephenson, Cavallis, Bay of Islands, Rimariki, Poor Knights, Hen and Chickens, Mokohinaus, Little Barrier, Great Barrier, inner Hauraki Gulf, Coromandel, Cuvier, Mercury, Aldermen, Shoe, Slipper, Mayor, Rurima, Whale, Kapiti, and Chetwodes.
The New Zealand collection includes both native and naturalised species, cultivated material, and a range of timber samples. A sizeable overseas collection, obtained by long-standing exchange with herbaria around the world is also held. The donated herbaria of LEV and AKU have been incorporated.
The herbarium is based on the collections of Thomas F. Cheeseman made between 1870 and 1920 (and is occasionally termed the Cheeseman Herbarium). It contains many historical specimens and numerous types.
Cataloguing our collections
The Museums Herbarium holds over 333,000 botanical specimens, including 200,000 angiosperms, 5,000 gymnosperms, 30,000 pteridophytes, 21,500 mosses, 12,300 liverworts, 22,000 algae, 27,200 lichens, and 1,000 timber samples. In 1989, computerised herbarium management enabled the electronic storage of information regarding individual species and specimens. All new accessions since 1989, have been recorded electronically. There have also been ongoing projects, funded by the NZ Lottery Board, to enter backlog records. As of October 2010 over 227,000 records have been databased including all non-vascular specimens and all vascular material collected in New Zealand.
Search the Database
Records in this part of the database are currently restricted to the primary type specimens of the New Zealand vascular plants (ferns, confers and flowering plants). Species are listed here under their currently accepted names. The number of records available will be progressively expanded.
If there are any particular kinds or groups of plants you would like to see records for in the future, and for comments on the database, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help us plan for future expansion and improvement.
Digitising the vascular type specimens was funded by a grant from the Terrestrial and Freshwater Biodiversity Information System (TFBIS) Programme; databasing backlog specimens and incorporating AKU herbarium has been assisted by New Zealand Lottery Board grants.
Staff and Research
Curator: Ewen K. Cameron: N.Z. native & adventive vascular flora, offshore island floristics and conservation.
Honorary Research Associates: John E. Braggins (N.Z. bryophytes & ferns); Peter de Lange (N.Z. vascular flora, threatened plants); Rhys O. Gardner (N.Z. & Pacific vascular flora); Mike D. Wilcox (cultivated trees & marine algae of Auckland).
Back to Natural Science home
The New Zealand National Herbarium Network provides internet access to over 700,000 records held by 11 NZ herbaria from Auckland to Dunedin which includes mosses, lichens, liverworts, ferns, algae and seed plants. This includes all the NZ collections held in the Auckland Museum herbarium.Click for the NZ Virtual Herbarium