History of the Collection

The collection is housed in an Edwardian building commissioned in 1901 and completed in 1902. The building is in a small enclave that once formed part of Durban Botanical Garden. The Herbarium and Medley Wood House, our administration block, have been declared Heritage buildings. Many of the cabinets are made of kiaat (Pterocarpus angolensis) to a design dated 1955, and include a few of Medley Wood’s original Victorian cabinets.

KwaZulu-Natal interior cabinet and working area

Specimens in the Collection

Specimens are arranged according to the Engler system as employed in the List of Southern African Plants. We have about 140 000 specimens, mainly from KwaZulu-Natal, but also from surrounding areas. Many specimens of tropical African and extra-African plants were donated to the National Herbarium in Pretoria (PRE) some years ago, as was a small collection of mosses. As a result, we retain only ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms.


Scroll to top