The University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) was established in 1926 and, with an estimated 150,000 specimens, is now the largest university herbarium in Australia.
The collection includes specimens collected by Banks and Solander, as well as historic botanical objects and artwork. MELU is a vibrant and active teaching and research collection of international significance, with specimens of all major plant groups represented in the collection. We are best known for our bryological and phycological collections. Our herbarium complements the National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL), Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, with which we have a strong collaboration.
MELU is an invaluable resource for scientists, underpinning research on taxonomy, systematics, ecology and conservation. We contribute to national and international biodiversity data through Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH) and Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), which feed into international biodiversity data portals such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). The collection is also a significant research archive for the University and record depository. MELU facilitates research of postgraduate students, staff and associates in the School of BioSciences and the University.
We lend specimens nationally and internationally to registered scientific institutions for research purposes, and welcome the use of the collection by visiting scientists. Through undergraduate courses and a volunteer program students can learn about herbaria and assist in the maintenance and expansion of the facility. If you would like to use the facility or find out more, please read about accessing the collection or contact us.
Researchers associated with the collection
Supporting the herbarium
If you would like to support the herbarium through a tax deductible donation to the Herbarium Fund (download our flyer to find out more), please visit the The University of Melbourne Botany Foundation website.
The Herbarium Fund was profiled in the 2017 Botany Foundation Annual Report. Download this article to read more about the potential impacts of the Herbarium Fund.