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Plants @ Cambridge

The University of Cambridge holds extensive collections that are important to plant science research and the history or horticulture and botany. These collections are available for external use by arrangement. 


University of Cambridge Herbarium

The University of Cambridge's Herbarium dates back to the 1703 and houses an internationally renowned collection of more than one million pressed, dried and mounted plants as well as a unique collection of taxonomic books and floras. Its historic collections include specimens gathered by Charles Darwin on the voyage of HMS Beagle and its British collection is one of the finest in the world, with specimens continuing to be added. Find out more about the University's Herbarium.


Botanic Garden Living Collection

The Botanic Garden's Living Collections comprise some 14,000 accessions and more than 8,000 plant species. This collection represents a remarkable range of living plant diversity and supports world-class education, learning and research. During the 20th century the collection supported seminal work in plant genetics, plant physiology and plant pathology. Today the collection is used extensively by researchers at the University and visiting researchers from all over the world. Find out more about the Botanic Garden's living collections.


Seed Bank

The Botanic Garden's Seed Bank holds 1,389 individual accessions representing 762 species and more than 79 plant families. This fundamental collection allows the Botanic Garden to maintain the yearly cycle of propagation and planting for short-lived annuals and perennials, facilitates the exchange of material with other gardens and researchers as well as allowing it to store wild-collected seed from expeditions. Find out more about the Botanic Garden's seed bank.


Cory and Herbarium Libraries

Housed at the Sainsbury Laboratory, the Cory and Herbarium Library includes horticultural reference works, floras by geographical area, 19th-century works on taxonomy and systematics and serials related to taxonomy and horticulture. It also holds the Cory Collection, which includes works on practical horticulture, botanical illustration and landscape design and rare, valuable early botanical and horticultural works dating back to the 16th century. Also held in the library is the Simpson Collection of UK-focused botanical works, which includes books collected by botanist Norman Douglas Simpson. Find out more about the collections held in the Cory and Herbarium Libraries.


Department of Plant Sciences Library

The Department of Plant Sciences Library contains a large collection of current periodicals and more than 20,000 books. It also holds the Department's archives, including correspondence and drafts of contributions to the Department’s spoof publication Tea Phytologist from 1908 to 1984, botany lecture notes and photos and portraits belonging to the Department. Find out more about the Department of Plant Sciences Library.