juliet granite collections
The WA Herbarium is responsible for describing and documenting of Western Australia's botanical diversity. 
Photo © Parks and Wildlife

The Western Australian Herbarium is responsible for the description and documentation of Western Australia's exceptional botanical species diversity [link to https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/statistics/]. Underpinning this research is a collection of more than 775 000 dried specimens of plants, algae, bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts), lichens, fungi and slime moulds, obtained from throughout the State. These collections and their ancillary data (e.g. collection notes, photographs) provide a permanent record of the occurrence of a species at a particular place and time and are therefore an irreplaceable source of information on Western Australia’s biodiversity.

The collection at the Western Australian Herbarium is used by staff botanists and visiting researchers from all over the world for studies including taxonomy, conservation biology, evolution, genetics, ecology, history, forensic science, ethnobotany, archaeology and palynology. A separate, self-service Reference Herbarium is also maintained to facilitate accurate identification of botanical specimens collected by government, industry and the community.

The Western Australian Herbarium plays a vital role within Parks and Wildlife, providing information that is essential for biodiversity conservation planning and management. The collection and its data are a dynamic resource, with material continually added to the collection or reclassified in light of new scientific knowledge. New species are discovered each year, often during research on the collection or as a result of botanical field surveys.

Information on the State’s flora is made freely available through the Herbarium’s flagship portal FloraBase and the journal Nuytsia. Staff and associates also maintain an active Facebook page to promote Western Australia’s biodiversity and the activities of Herbarium staff and volunteers.

Collecting and providing specimens to the Herbarium

The Herbarium has published several articles describing how to collect a specimen and provide it to the Herbarium for future reference. The articles are:

Volunteering opportunities at the Herbarium

The Herbarium has published an article on our volunteering program:

Herbarium documentation

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Florabase