Being one of the oldest research units, the East African Herbarium maintains the largest botanical collection in tropical Africa. Presently holding more than 700,000 plant specimens and accompanying field notes it acts as a major regional as well as national reference centre. Research is primarily focused on the taxonomy, distribution, use and conservation of East African plants. Investigation in plant use and distribution has been generally project based with the Indigenous Food Plants Programme and the Coastal Forest Survey being examples of the former and latter respectively. The extensive library collection housed in the department is an indispensable research source.
The Herbarium’s plant identification service is extensively used by local and international researchers as well as by interested members of the public.
In 1992, the Plant Conservation and Propagation Unit was established within the Herbarium for the express purpose of ensuring the survival and proliferation of threatened and endemic flora. The unit is involved in maintenance of seed collections, duplication of accessions for long term storage and vegetation propagation through tissue culture. The greenhouses near the snake park are managed under the auspices of the unit.
The herbarium offers training courses in plant conservation and herbarium techniques.
To learn more visit East African Herbarium