Herbarium represent reference collections with
many and varied functions including identification,
research and education. The herbarium of Royal Botanic
Gardens has a central role for research on plant and
mycological biodiversity on earth, with 7 million
specimens, including approximately 350,000 type
It founded in 1853 with
combining of several formerly private collections, such
as Sir William Hooker's, George Bentham's and M J.
Berkeley's mycological herbarium. The collections
include the personal herbaria of some of Britain's most
celebrated scientists and explorers of the past. Charles
Darwin, Joseph Hooker, David Livingstone, John Hanning
Speke, Richard Spruce, Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson and Miles
Joseph Berkeley are just a few of the famous names whose
collections can still be studied in the Herbarium.