Northern Territory Herbarium
The term “Herbarium” refers to a collection of pressed and dried plants that are kept as a botanical record. It is the basic reference source or ‘data bank’ for plant taxonomists, who are the professionals involved in the classification, description and naming of plants. Herbaria not only contain vascular plants but also mosses, liverworts, algae and fungi. In Australia, each state and territory jurisdiction has a Herbarium, with the Australian National Herbarium in the national capital Canberra.
The Northern Territory Herbarium (Darwin & Alice Springs) contains approximately 245 000 plant specimens, most of which are flowering plants. The collection includes plant material mounted on card, preserved in alcohol (spirit collections) and carpological material (seeds, fruit, bark & leaves too large & bulky to mount on card). Almost 100% of the collection is data based on a web-enabled system called HOLTZE Northern Territory Specimen Database.
The Northern Territory has over 4,100 species of native plants including some 567 endemic species, many of which are of conservation significance. With the Territory comprising approximately 1/6 th of the Australian land area (or 1.335 million km2) across a range of topographic, edaphic and climate conditions, there is also a great diversity of vegetation communities.
A brief history of the Northern Territory Herbarium and Territory plant collecting is provided in the following pdf files.