The history of our herbarium dates back to late 18th century. At that time, the first collections formed a part of a “Naturalie Cabinet” that belonged to the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg. In 1926, the Botanical Garden, with Carl Skottsberg as director, took over the herbarium from the Göteborg museum. In 1961, when the University of Gothenburg established a botanical institute, the collections were transferred to this institute. Since 1995, the herbarium is located in the premises of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and in 2015 it became a research infrastructure at University of Gothenburg.
The collections amount to approximately 1.1 million specimens. Nearly 750 000 of these are vascular plants, whereas the remaining 350 000 specimens belong to bryophytes, algae, fungi, lichens, and slime molds. The collections reflect to a large extent the research that is currently carried out, or has been carried out, at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences.
The vascular plants comprise extensive collections from the Nordic countries, as well as other important collections from the Middle East, the Mediterranean area, and tropical South America. The latter collection mirrors more than 50 years of research activities in South America, in particular in connection to the Flora of Ecuador project. Although most vascular plant families in South America are present in the collections the following are particularly well represented: Asteraceae, Cyclanthaceae, Heliconiaceae, Marantaceae, Rubiaceae, and Scrophulariaceae s.l. Of the non-vascular plants, the fungal collection is the largest and has about 100 000 specimens, most of which are basidiomycetes from Northern Europe. The majority are wood-decaying resupinate and bracket fungi. Within the Euagarics, we host representative collections of Psathyrellaceae, Hygrophoraceae, Lycoperdaceae, Inocybaceae, Russulales, and Boletales.