Herbarium WU

The foundation of this collection of dried plant specimens dates back to the year 1879 when the then Director of the Botanical Museum, Anton KERNER von MARILAUN (1831 - 1898), had begun to acquire herbarium material for the installation of an institute's new herbarium (WU). This had become necessary, as the entire collection had been transferred to the newly built Natural History Museum Vienna (W). To accelerate the installation, KERNER had created the well-known exsiccata series "Flora exsiccata Austro-Hungarica" (duplicates still available for exchange!) with very instructive labels which had been issued also in book form (Schedae ad floram exsiccatam Austro-Hungaricam). The new herbarium grew rapidly and in 1889 it contained already 80.000 specimens. Due to gifts and bequests (e.g., herbaria of A. KERNER: integrated in the main herbarium, K. KECK: still kept as separate entity) as well as by the activities of collecting expeditions it soon approached considerable size and importance. KERNER was followed as the institute's director by Richard von WETTSTEIN who also has left his herbarium to the institute. Today the herbarium of the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research is estimated to contain about 1,400.000 specimens covering all plant groups worldwide. Further details can be found in the printed version of the Index Herbariorum ed. 8 (HOLMGREN & al., 1990) and at the website.

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