State Herbarium

The State Herbarium of South Australia is the key centre for knowledge and information on South Australia's native and naturalised plants, algae, fungi and lichens. We are internationally recognised for our research and advisory role in plant systematics.

At the core of the State Herbarium's operations is our collection of dried herbarium specimens, currently numbering over one million and growing.

Our research staff and associates bring scientific methods, including cutting-edge technologies in molecular biology and microscopy to help research a wide range of botanical areas (eg genes, populations, species, higher taxa, communities and ecosystems).

The information that we gather is not just stored. Research results and statewide knowledge are shared in publications such as the Flora of South Australia, Census of South Australian Vascular Plants and the Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia.

We participate in major national projects such as the iconic Flora of Australia and world-leading Australia's Virtual Herbarium. We are also an essential resource for carrying out flora surveys, vegetation mapping programs, native vegetation conservation, weed identification, and community management and rehabilitation programs.

The State Herbarium's knowledge and information also contributes to the conservation of rare plants. We believe that action to save rare plant species faced with extinction needs to be based on good scientific knowledge. Our improved communication of distributional and taxonomic data is enhancing recovery plans and on-ground actions in the effort of conservation of these rare plants.

Our knowledge of the species of plants, algae and fungi - which is crucial in today's conservation biology, environmental management, the design of natural reserves and informed decision making for South Australia and any governmental agency - continues to increase, and research shows that new species continue to be discovered.

The State Herbarium Prospectus (707kb pdf) provides information on the history, capability, strategic intent and research partnership opportunities in the State Herbarium.