What's happening in the Allan Herbarium?
The Allan Herbarium's 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 identify species accurately and to undertake morphological studies, by ecologists to determine historical distributions of species, by Biosecurity Officers to identify weeds, and by the general public (including botanical groups) for various information on plants in New Zealand.
There are over 550 000 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. The Herbarium also provides a special archival function: preserving records of plants occurring in habitats destroyed since European land use.