Global Plants contains the contributed collections of more than 300 herbaria from around the globe. Herbaria preserve plant type specimens that are used for the study of botany, ecology, and other plant science disciplines. Plant type specimens are in great demand for scientific study because of their pivotal role as original vouchers of nomenclature. They also act as a historical record of changes in various flora.
There are nearly two million high-resolution type specimens currently in the Global Plants database, and this number will continue to grow. They have been hand-selected and meticulously digitized by partner herbaria with generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Researchers and students can also access reference works and primary sources—such as collectors’ correspondence and diaries, paintings, drawings, and photographs—contributed by partners. Highlights include reference works and books such as The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa and Flowering Plants of South Africa; illustrations from Curtis's Botanical Magazine; and Kew’s Directors' Correspondence comprising hand-written letters and memorandum from the senior staff of Kew from 1841 to 1928.