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University of Melbourne Herbarium

School of Botany, University of Melbourne PARKVILLE Phone: (03) 8344 5040 Visit Website

The University of Melbourne Herbarium was established in the School of Botany in 1926 with a donation of plant specimens by the Rev. Herman Montague Rucker Rupp, a former student of Trinity College at the University.

Our Collection

The University of Melbourne Herbarium was established in the School of Botany in 1926 when a donation of plant specimens was given to the School by the Rev. Herman Montague Rucker Rupp, a former student of Trinity College at the University. Thanks to additional donations, some dating back to the 1850?s, today the collection totals approximately 100,000 specimens and is still growing. All major plant groups are housed in the Herbarium, including fungi, mosses, liverworts, lichens, algae, ferns, gymnosperms and flowering plants. The main emphasis of the collection is the Victorian flora, however, for some plant groups interstate and overseas collections are included to adequately cover the range of variation within the group.

The University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) is one of 29 registered herbaria within Australia. Although relatively small in size compared to most government herbaria, MELU is the largest and most comprehensive and floristically complete University or non- government herbarium collection in Australia. The significance of the MELU collection primarily lies in the historical and scientific importance of the collection. Housed within a teaching and research institution, the MELU collection represents both research and teaching efforts within the School of Botany since its beginning. While most herbaria contain predominantly flowering plants specimens, MELU holds a unique array of specimens covering all plant groups but with the majority of its collections covering the rarely studied, poorly collected and less ?in vogue? plant groups such as algae, mosses, liverworts and fungi. MELU is one of two herbaria in Australia whose collection covers all plant groups and whose individual collections of algae, moss and liverworts outweigh its flowering plant component. For these unique qualities alone, the collection at MELU holds great significance.

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