The herbarium is known by its code name ‘GENT’ (four capitals). A summary is available on the Index Herbariorum website.

Some 300 000 specimens are distributed over several locations:

  • Campus Sterre S8

sea-weed herbarium, ± 20 000 sp.

  • K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35

Fungi herbarium, ± 100 000 sp.
Moss herbarium, ± 25 000 sp.
Vascular Plants herbarium, ± 150 000 sp.
Botanical Garden herbarium, ± 6 000 sp.

The collections consist mainly of dried specimens which are either mounted on sturdy bristol sheets (large specimens) or kept in folded packets (small specimens). Other specimens are conserved in liquid (e.g. flowers, fruits, sea-weeds), some are stored in envelopes in silica gel. The latter conservation technique is applied with a view to subsequent molecular genetic analysis.

 All collections are used intensively in ongoing research projects.

At least 10 PhD theses and 50 MSc theses have been based on herbarium specimens since 1970. Staff of the Faculty of Sciences Research Groups Spermatophytes and Pteridophytes have published well over 200 articles which refer to a lesser or greater extent to ‘GENT’ specimens.

Other Belgian and foreign researchers also use the collections frequently. Their objectives and methods vary considerably. The traditional approach focuses on morphological and anatomical observations. Molecular genetic analysis becoming ever more popular, our herbarium specimens have become a regular source of DNA.