University of Victoria Herbarium

Field plant press

Field plant press

used to collect specimens for the herbarium collection ...

Field plant press
Plant diversity class

Flowering plant diversity (BIOL 449)

Learn to recognize plant families like this Ranunculaceae flower.

Flowering plant diversity (BIOL 449)
Shooting star

Herbarium resources

Lists of native plant species for UVic and local parks ...

Herbarium resources

About herbaria

What do we do in the UVic Herbarium?

Our specimen collections are used for a variety of purposes. They document the plant species of our region, illustrate the range of variation within and among species, and provide the data to map species distributions. They preserve a historical record of change in plant communities over time. Specimens are held in perpetuity, and if well cared for, they can last for hundreds of years.


We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.


The collection is an important resource for education and scientific research, and receives wide use through loans solicited from researchers and institutions around the world, as well as researchers at UVic. Researchers have used UVic specimens to study genetic relationships among plants, species variation, pollen morphology, and plant phylogeography. This research has contributed to numerous publications.

The UVic Herbarium helps increase our understanding and appreciation of botany and plays a key role in conservation by documenting plant biodiversity, providing material for scientific research, and protecting B.C.'s botanical resources. Information associated with herbarium specimens can be used for a variety of conservation-related projects. For example, herbarium specimens can be used to document the spread of non-native invasive species and the past distributions of endangered plants.   

The UVic Herbarium is an important educational venue for both university students and the public. The UVic Herbarium provides learning resources for university students through graduate student teaching assistantships, work-study positions and undergraduate courses.

Graduate students help to maintain the herbarium and the botanical database as well as coordinate work-study students and volunteers. Undergraduate work-study positions in the Herbarium have enabled students interested in plant diversity and conservation to become familiar with curation of a natural history collection and the role of a modern herbarium in teaching, research and outreach. Work-study students contribute to preparation, maintenance and organization of plant specimens and assist in lab setup for plant-related courses.

The Herbarium plays an important role in UVic undergraduate coursework by providing material for plant identification and offering students an opportunity to gain practical skills in assembly and documentation of plant collections.

The UVic Herbarium is an important public resource for ecologists, conservation managers and the general public. Many rely on the UVic collection for plant identification and plant distribution information as well as for artistic inspiration. We offer tours of the herbarium, host workshops and have ongoing projects with the public. Contact us for more information.

Herbarium Imaginaire