National Herbarium of Victoria

The National Herbarium of Victoria (Index Herbariorum code: MEL[1]) is one of Australia's earliest herbaria, and the oldest scientific institution in Victoria.[2] It was established in 1853 by Ferdinand von Mueller, the Government Botanist for Victoria, and is situated within the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. The present building was constructed in 1934 through a donation from philanthropist Sir Macpherson Robertson. It, along with a 1989 extension, houses the entire collection of 1.5 million plant and fungal specimens. The Herbarium's botanic library is an important source for the history of Australian botany, and has contributed some 124 volumes (of the 1212 volumes contributed by Australia Institutions) to the online digital Biodiversity Heritage Library.[3]

National Herbarium of Victoria
The façade; an extension to the original building
Established1853 (1853)
Coordinates37.8309°S 144.9770°E / -37.8309; 144.9770
AddressDallas Brooks Dr & Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne VIC 3004
WebsiteNational Herbarium of Victoria

The herbarium is also a partner in the Australasian Virtual Herbarium project, thereby making all of its collection data available to anyone to use.[2] The herbarium also publishes an online key together with descriptions of plants found in Victoria via VicFlora.[4]


Over half of the existing collection was acquired by Mueller.[2] The herbarium includes the following collections:[2]

  • Otto Sonder herbarium
  • Fern collections
  • Bryophyte collections
  • Algae collections
  • Lichen collections
  • Fungi collections
  • Botany of the Burke and Wills expedition

See also


  1. "New York Botanical Garden-Steere Herbarium: Index herbariorem (MEL)". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  2. "National Herbarium of Victoria". Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  3. "Biodiversity Heritage Library: BHL Australia". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  4. "VicFlora Flora of Victoria". Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
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