United Herbaria of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich
Specimens of vascular plants, bryophytes, algae and fungi are preserved in Switzerland’s second largest herbarium and are used for research and teaching.
Approximately 3.8 million specimens
- Approximately 2.4 million vascular plants
- Approximately 0.4 million bryophytes
- Approximately 1 million fungi
- Approximately 20,000 algae
- Approximately 15,000 type specimens
- Geographic focuses: flora of Switzerland and Central Europe, New Caledonia and Southern Africa; fungi of Central Europe and the southern hemisphere
- Important collections: vascular plants of the genera 'Alchemilla', 'Potentilla', 'Rosa' and 'Rubus', basidiomycetes (macromycetes, rust fungi), ascomycetes, glomeromycota
Relevance of research and Public
The collection represents a documentation of species diversity in space and time, which is used for research questions in natural as well as cultural history. It serves as an irreplaceable information resource for biodiversity research such as federal or cantonal monitoring projects that may involve citizen scientists. Specimens are sent out on loan for systematic, morphological and genetic studies to academic institutions worldwide.
Current activities, projects
- The vascular plant herbarium develops diverse digitisation and evaluation strategies, which are currently implemented within the scope of various projects on the flora of the Canton of Zurich, the flora of Angola and the Brassicaceae plant family with the aid of citizen scientists and internet-based exchange platforms developed in-house.
- The bryophyte herbarium is playing an instrumental role in the project "Bryophyte Flora of Switzerland" and is closely collaborating with the National Record Centre of Swiss Bryophytes, which is currently in charge of compiling the "Red List of Endangered Bryophytes in Switzerland 2020".
- Rust fungi are being investigated and the holdings digitized at the fungus herbarium. The rust fungi known to occur on Solanaceae are currently being monographed and methods are being developed to digitize microfungi.
Use of the archive / online presence
- Approximately 90,000 specimens of vascular plants (including all type specimens) and 20,000 bryophyte specimens are currently available in digital form via a self-maintained internet-portal.
- Moreover, approx. 60,000 moss specimens are available on the portal of the National Record Centre of Swiss Bryophytes
- The labels of all rust fungi are digitally accessible in E-Pics rust fungi of the Zurich herbaria.