What is a herbarium?A herbarium is a systematic arranged collection of dried and pressed plant specimens mounted on a sheet of paper along with associated important field data (place and date of collecting, scientific name, collector’s name etc.). The specimens may be a whole plant or plant parts. The specimens are filed according to families and genera and are available for ready reference.
The herbarium in Johannesburg Botanical Garden (JBG) currently houses more than 6 000 specimens and is used by JCPZ employees and the broader community (i.e. residents; students and researchers) for plant identification, educational and research purposes. About 70% of the specimens in the JBG herbarium represent the vegetation of City of Johannesburg and the oldest specimen was collected in 1901. Collection of specimens is on-going. Next to the herbarium, the seed room houses seed collection used for conservation, educational and research purposes.
Plant Specimens at JBG Herbarium
Filed specimens at JBG Herbarium
Seed Room at Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
The Johannesburg Botanical Garden is involved in a seed exchange programme with other botanical institutions worldwide.
Functions of the Herbarium
- A herbarium has one or more of the following functions or roles:
- Source of knowledge about the flora of a region
- Help in the identification of plants
- Preserve a historical record of change in vegetation over time and provide material for botanic research
- Supplier of a support service to the community: plant identification, information, education, collecting services for bioprospecting or other specialized projects
- Training for Botanists
The Johannesburg Botanical Garden Library
The JBG herbarium is attached to a library which currently houses more than 2 000 resources mainly on the following subjects: taxonomy, biodiversity, morphology, plant anatomy, plant geography, history, environment, zoology, ethnobotany and landscaping. The library, herbarium and botanical garden which provides a living collection of plants together, are an indispensable resource for botanic research.
Johannesburg Botanical Gardens Library
Services Offered at JBG Herbarium and Library (Free services to the public):
- Plant identification (assisted and self-service)
- School groups (booked through Environmental Education Department)
- Access to the library and herbarium collection
- Planting recommendations
The library and herbarium are at the Johannesburg Botanical Garden Administration Block in Emmarentia.
07:30-15: 30 (Monday- Friday)
For Library enquiries please contact Anni Bruyns
Telephone number: 011 782 0517