The vascular plants collection comprises approximately 750 000 specimens and is the largest of the collections in Herbarium GB. The collection is subdivided in the Nordic, the South American, and the General herbarium.
The Nordic herbarium
The Nordic collection comprises ca 250 000 specimens, many collected in western Sweden. The collection has been important for many provincial flora projects in Sweden, not least the floras of Bohuslän, Halland, and Västergötland, and for the ongoing work of the Flora Nordica project. Carl Blom's (1885–1978) collection of 35 000 specimens is unique. His contribution to the herbarium started already at young age and his last collections were made only a few years before he passed away. He was particularly interested in adventitious plants, and has allegedly found more than 100 new species for Sweden. Agne Wennerberg's nearly complete collection of native vascular plants is also noteworthy.
The South American herbarium
The South American collection reflects the research that is carried out at the department. It comprises approximately 100 000 specimens, many gathered in connection to the Flora of Ecuador project that was initiated by Gunnar Harling and Benkt Sparre in 1968. Gunnar Harling's own research was focused on the Asteraceae and Cyclanthaceae, but he also made general collections and has contributed with about 20 000 specimens. The herbarium also holds special collections made by researchers and PhD students at our department: Lennart Andersson (Heliconiaceae, Marantaceae, Rubiaceae), Alexandre Antonelli (Lobeliaceae, Rubiaceae), Jan-Erik Bohlin (Nyctaginaceae), Uno Eliasson (Amaranthaceae, Asteraceae), Bente Eriksen (Polygalaceae, Valerianaceae), Roger Eriksson (Cyclanthaceae), Claes Gustafsson (Rubiaceae), Mats Hagberg (Marantaceae), Ulf Molau (Calceolariaceae, Orobanchaceae, "Scrophulariaceae"), Claes Persson (Rubiaceae), Johan Rova (Rubiaceae), and Bertil Ståhl (Symplocaceae, Theophrastaceae). Uno Eliasson’s general collections from the Galápagos Islands, which he visited three times in the 1960s, are also notable.
The General herbarium
The general collection comprises approximately 350 000 specimens from all areas except the Nordic countries and South- and Central America. Carl Skottsberg, who founded the herbarium, and led the work to build the Botanical Garden in Gothenburg, is probably the botanist who has provided most specimens to this collection. He made a large number of expeditions to remote countries, and his travels to Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego, Chile, the Galápagos Islands, the Juan Fernández Islands and Easter Island are well known. He also made extensive collection journeys to other parts of the world such as Algeria, Tunisia, Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada. During his time in Gothenburg, he collected ca 15 000 specimens. Carl Skottsberg was also responsible for Herbarium GB's largest accession of plants when he in 1929 bought August von Hayek's collection from his heirs in Vienna. This collection consists of 90 000 specimens, from Austria, the NW Balkan peninsula and the Middle East. Other often consulted collections are made by Per Wendelbo (ca 1 000 specimens of bulbous plants from Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey), Bengt Oxelman (Caryophyllaceae), Magnus Lidén (Papaveraceae), and Karin Persson (bulbous plants from the Mediterranean area).
Even if Herbarium GB is relatively young, and most collections have been made in the 1900s, the herbarium also holds historically valuable collections. A specimen collected by Carl von Linné is most probably the oldest in our herbarium. It consists of three stems of Festuca rubra (Poaceae), from Kungsängen in Uppsala. The collection was probably made in the 1740s, but the exact date is lacking. The specimen was selected as lectotype by Jarvis et al. in 1987.
Flora Käralundensis from 1780 is our oldest cohesive plant collection. It comprises 668 vascular plants collected by the amateur botanist Carl Leonhard Kilborg at Kärralund's estate in the district of Örgryte, Göteborg.
Other noteworthy specimens in our herbarium are collected by Joseph Banks and Linnaeus' disciple Daniel Solander on their journey with Captain Cook to the Pacific Ocean 1768–1771. These are Anguillaria bahamensis (Colchicaceae) collected at a stop on Madeira in 1768, Empetrum rubrum (Ericaceae) collected in Tierra del Fuego 1769, and Evolvulus decumbens (Convolvulaceae) and Placus solandri (Asteraceae) collected in Australia 1770.