This section includes herbarium of seed bearing plants other than type specimens collected from India and different parts of the World.
A herbarium can be defined as a repository of dried plant collections which are poisoned, mounted, stitched, labelled and systematically arranged based on a recognized classification for reference and use in taxonomic research. The Botanical Survey of India, being the apex research organization in taxonomic/floristic research on wild plant resources of the country under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India maintains herbaria in all its regional centres. Herbaria of BSI have adopted Bentham and Hooker’s systems of classification.
The Herbaria (ARUN, ASSAM, BSA, BSD, BSHC, BSI, BSID, BSIS, BSJO, CAL, MH and PBL) of Botanical Survey of India (BSI) are one of the main attractions for the botanical research program throughout the world and houses approximately 3 million specimens, collected from all around the world. The specimens are very precious and contribute major role in research. These collections have been consulted by researchers throughout the world either by visiting to our herbaria or by digital images.
Major collections of herbarium specimens of Botanical Survey of India are preserved in Central National Herbarium (CAL), Howrah. At present the Central National Herbarium (CAL) is one of the largest herbaria in the world, housing more than 2 million herbarium specimens. The phanerogam collections at CAL are arranged in five herbarium halls. The folders are marked country wise and organised in 12 floristic regions, with the Indian Region No. 1/1 and South America No. 12, and the Indian Region is further divided state-wise. The herbarium specimens include the classical collections by European botanists of pre-independent era, including those of T. Anderson, C.A. Barber, N.L. Bor, D. Brandis, I.H. Burkill, C.C. Clader, C.B. Clarke, T. Cooke, N.A. Dalzel, C.E.C. Fischer, J.S. Gamble, W. Griffith, H.H. Haines, J.D. Hooker, G. King, W.S. Kurz, F. Lawson, A.K. Meebold, W. Roxburgh, J.F. Royle, W.A. Talbot, T. Thomson, N. Wallich, R. Wight, and many others.
The CNH has collections not only from India but also from other parts of the world. It maintains exchange relations with various reputed international herbaria. Another important collection in CAL is the specimens collected by Dr. Nathaniel Wallich from Nepal and Burma which accounts to about 12,300 in number. N.L. Bor’s collection of grass specimens is another asset of this herbarium.
CAL maintains a separate herbarium exclusively for students where every taxon is represented by one or two specimens, thus making it small and easily referable. The students’ herbarium maintained by CAL has about 10,000 collections.
Our Phanerogams General Collection is currently being degitised.