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Cambridge University Herbarium

Staff working in Herbarium

About Cambridge University Herbarium

Cambridge University Herbarium is part of the Department of Plant Sciences, and is housed in the Sainsbury Laboratory on Bateman Street, adjacent to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

With specimens dating from at least 1703, the University Herbarium houses an important collection of over 1.1 million pressed, dried and mounted plants. Specimens from around the world have been added to the collection as a result of purchases, gifts, exchanges and benefactions. The British collection is particularly comprehensive, and most new specimens added to the Herbarium in recent decades have been incorporated into this collection.

The University Herbarium holds several historically important collections, including most of the plant specimens gathered by Charles Darwin on the voyage of HMS Beagle, and the herbarium of John Lindley, Secretary of the Horticultural Society of London (later to become the Royal Horticultural Society), which contains many thousands of plants new to Western science at the time of their collection, especially those from the Americas, Asia and Australia. The Herbarium Library (part of the Library of the Department of Plant Sciences) also holds a unique collection of taxonomic books and floras.

Visiting the Cambridge University Herbarium

The University Herbarium is open to visitors and researchers by prior arrangement only, and via occasional open days and behind-the-scenes visits. Please contact us via email (see Contact Us page) to arrange a visit and follow us on X @CUHerb for updates.

Read more at: Our team

Our team

Meet the amazing team that ensures the smooth running of the Cambridge University Herbarium.

Read more at: History of the University Herbarium
Illustration of Aleca ficifolia

History of the University Herbarium

As befits one of the largest and oldest herbaria in the UK, Cambridge University Herbarium has a rich and storied history.

Read more at: Associated Collections
Botanical illustration by Henslow

Associated Collections

Learn more about the connections between the herbarium and associated libraries and gardens.

Read more at: Department of Plant Sciences
Students working in lab

Department of Plant Sciences

Learn more about the Department of Plant Sciences, which coordinates plant science research and teaching at the University of Cambridge.

Read more at: Virtual Tour
Radio interview in the Herbarium

Virtual Tour

Join our Curator, Dr Lauren Gardiner, on a virtual behind-the-scenes tour of the herbarium.

Read more at: Contact Us
Staff working in Herbarium

Contact Us

Contact us with your research and specimen enquiries.

Support the Cambridge University Herbarium

John Stevens Henslow teaching chart

Click here to give to the University Herbarium and help fund our work to preserve and provide access to our...