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  • 09 August, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

Indian Virtual Herbarium

Indian Virtual Herbarium

Indian Virtual Herbarium is attracting a lot of attention and is proving to be an intriguing project.

About Indian virtual herbarium

  • It is a database of dried plants.
  • Indian Virtual Herbarium is an interesting collection of plants and preserved parts of plants.
  • The virtual herbarium also presents a rich botanical diversity of the country.
  • In addition to digital images of the herbarium specimens, the label data for each species includes all relevant information, including the family, genus, species, author citation, sub-species, variety (if any), collector, collection number, collection date, herbarium region, localities, plant description, habitat, and comments (if any).
  • It is the nation's largest virtual database of flora.
  • Developed by researchers at the Botanical Survey of India (BSI)

Oldest botanical specimens

The Indian Virtual Herbarium is also deeply linked with the botanical history of the country.

  • The portal provides the most valuable historical collections of botanists like William Roxburgh, Nathaniel Wallich, and Joseph Dalton Hooker among others who are considered founding fathers of botany in India.
  • Some of the oldest botanical specimens, dating back to 1696, can be found in the digital herbarium.
  • Between June 15 and June 20, 1696, Cyperus procerus was harvested in the vicinity of Chennai.
  • Robert Wight gathered Lepidagathis scariosa, the earliest type specimen, in 1817.
  • Type specimens are collections that aid in new discoveries and are highly valued by taxonomists and botanists. To verify the names' identities, researchers must look at the names' kinds.

About herbarium specimen

  • It consists of dried plant parts that are labelled with the scientific name and the date of collection.
  • It is very useful for identifying plants and for doing ecological and systematic research.
  • More than 30,000 herbarium specimens from the Botanical Survey of India are preserved in several herbaria spread across the nation.

Source: The Hindu

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