Herbarium PRA


The Herbarium of the Institute of Botany is part of a worldwide network of collections (abbreviated as PRA in the Index Herbariorum) and the Czech Republic’s first institute herbarium to acquire a license for dealing with (e.g., sending and receiving) specimens of species on the CITES list (registration number CZ 001). The herbarium is fundamental for the Institute’s research. Above all, it archives voucher specimens from the Institute’s botanical studies, provides methodical support for projects and collects material of groups on which research is planned or under way at the Institute. This is why the herbarium contains mainly Monocot angiosperms and taxa with specific modes of reproduction (e.g., apomixis), especially from regions from which it is difficult to obtain material (Central Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, India, New Caledonia, Australia, North and South America etc.). The comparative herbarium of Central European synanthropic flora is another indispensable collection. The dendrological collection is among the world’s most significant collections of material from conifers (includes cones, bark, wood and twigs). The collections of diaspores of the families Fabaceae and Umbelliferae are also noteworthy. The L. Klimeš’ collection of plants from Ladakh (Western Himalayas, India) is unique in its size and comprehensiveness. The lichen collection of A. Vězda, a leading lichenologist, is another important asset of the herbarium; it consists of 35 000 sheets. There is at present over 250 000 sheets in the herbarium collections of the Institute. A new database system, HERBMAN, is being used for documentation. The herbarium is currently cooperating with those in other Institutes in a number of documentation projects. Selected collections are being documented with the help of modern photographic technology and made available to the public in digital form.

Currently the herbarium is connected into a series of documentary projects on which the Institute of Botany cooperates with other major collections. Using the latest photographic technology, selected collections are being documented and made accessible to the scientific public in digital form.

Jan Štěpánek (Head of the Herbarium; stepanek@ibot.cas.cz, phone: +420 271 015 270)