Herbaria store the world's knowledge on plant diversity in space and time. A herbarium specimen is a dried, preserved plant attached to an archival-quality paper sheet (roughly A3 size) with information on its origin (locality, habitat, collection date), unpreserved features (color, size, form), collector, and an identification. They are the raw scientific data of plant biodiversity and form the basis of a wealth of scientific disciplines.

Herbaria Basel

The Herbaria Basel at the University of Basel contain three separate plant collections:

  • The Herbarium of the University of Basel (BAS)
  • The Herbarium of the Basel Botanical Society (BASBG)
  • The Jany Renz Orchid Herbarium (RENZ)

Jointly, these collections contain about 700'000 specimens, the oldest and third-largest collection in Switzerland.  Our earliest specimens date from the 1570s, when Caspar Bauhin (1560-1624), one of the founding fathers of scientific botany, collected his first plants. The collection is still growing, and emphasizes the flora of Europe, Mediterranean, and Turkey, as well as orchids worldwide. 
The Herbaria Basel are registered Swiss Cultural Heritage of national importance.

The Herbaria Basel are a part of the Department of Environmental Sciences of the University of Basel, and result from a collaboration between the University and the Basel Botanical Society.

Take a look at the section Collections to learn more about our history and holdings.

Loans, requests and other inquiries

Please address all requests for loans, information, visit to the Herbaria and all other inquiries to the Curator, Dr. Jurriaan de Vos herbarium@unibas.ch       (German, English, or Dutch)

General policies

Please check here for our general policies on loans, sampling, and visits before placing your request.