The Fairchild Herbarium
Globally, there are more than 3,240 herbaria in 165 countries, and together, these collections represent all of the known plant diversity on earth. Herbaria range in size from a few thousand specimens to approximately eight million specimens (housed at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris). With a total inventory of about 200,000 specimens (and growing), Fairchild is considered a medium-sized herbarium.
The Fairchild Herbarium is best known for its collections of:
- Palms from around the world
- Plants of Florida and the the Caribbean islands
- Cultivated plants from the tropics
In addition, the Herbarium houses voucher specimens from our field expeditions and garden collections as well as specimens on loan from other institutions that we consult for our research.
In 1999, we began a long-term initiative to put our entire Herbarium collection online. Currently, we have nearly 50% of our collection in our database and linked to digital images that are searchable on the Internet. Our wonderful volunteers, whose work is supervised by the Herbarium Curator, Dr. Brett Jestrow, have performed almost all of the scanning and data entry. Their collective efforts make our Herbarium accessible to people who are unable to come to Miami, or who cannot afford the significant cost of shipping specimens on loan.