Allan Herbarium (CHR)
Plant collections and supporting databases provide the repository for knowledge of New Zealand´s flora, thereby contributing to both research, understanding of biological diversity and sustainability of New Zealand´s unique biodiversity.
The Allan Herbarium contains species from around the world but specialises in indigenous and exotic plants of the New Zealand region and the South Pacific. There are over 620 000 specimens in the Allan Herbarium with 5000-8000 being added annually. Two-thirds of the specimens are of indigenous plants with the remainder divided between naturalised, cultivated, and foreign specimens. It also has specialist collections of seed, fruit, wood, plant leaf cuticle, liquid–preserved specimens, and microscope slides. The oldest samples are the 91 duplicate specimens collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander during Captain James Cook´s first voyage to New Zealand, 1769–1770.
The Allan Herbarium's main function is to collect and record the flora of New Zealand, and to make this information readily available to researchers, and regional and national authorities. The collections are used by systematists to classify and identify species accurately, by ecologists to determine historical distributions of species, by biosecurity managers to identify weeds, and by the general public (including botanical groups) for information on plants in New Zealand.