WELCOME TO THE FALKLAND ISLANDS NATIONAL HERBARIUM AT FALKLANDS CONSERVATION

The herbarium collection contains over 1500 specimens collected in the Falkland Islands. The majority of specimens are vascular plants, however there are also over 300 mosses and lichens, and a small algal collection.

The vascular plant collection of over 1200 specimens has been fully digitised, and over 300 of those are available to view online, with more to be added. 

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About the Herbarium

The Falkland Islands National Herbarium (FINH) was founded in 2001. The herbarium was established by Robin Woods and David Broughton in collaboration with Falklands Conservation and The Department of Agriculture (Falkland Islands Government).

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Using the Herbarium

The herbarium is located at the premises of Falklands Conservation in Stanley, and contains specimens of vascular plants, mosses, bryophytes, and a small collection of algae. All visitors to the herbarium collection are extremely welcome; from researchers to school visits and all plant enthusiasts.

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Herbarium news and highlights

The Falkland Islands National Herbarium is more than the collection of specimens, welcoming many interesting visitors, collaborating with international botanists and benefiting from a wide range of supporters.

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Vascular plants make up the majority of the Falkland Islands National Herbarium collection, at over 1200 specimens. Vascular plants are land-based plants which have specialised vascular tissues for conducting water and minerals throughout the plant, as well as to conduct products of photosynthesis. There are 181 native vascular plants in the Falkland Islands, of which 14 are endemic and found nowhere else in the world.
In addition to these vascular plants, the Herbarium has physical samples of a range of seaweed, mosses, byrophytes, and algae. To see these specimens, please contact the herbarium curator

SEAWEEDS AND ALGAE

Seaweeds and the habitats that they create are fundamental to the coastal ecosystems of the Falklands. Giant kelp forests that girdle the many islands of the archipelago support economically important squid populations, a diversity of invertebrates and fish, and provide feeding and loafing grounds for marine birds and mammals. Currently, c. 250 red, green and brown seaweed taxa are recognised, of which about 100 species have been added to the list since the expeditions of Juliet Brodie and Rob Mrowicki in 2017 and 2018. It is anticipated that this number will increase, particularly with more taxonomic work on subtidal material and examination of the valuable herbarium specimens.

BYROPHYTES

There are 316 species of bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) reported from the Falkland Islands: 185 mosses, and 131 liverworts and hornworts. This is about 65% of the native plant flora. Recent collecting has discovered 25 mosses previously unrecorded in the Falklands and ongoing research is adding more species to the list of Falklands mosses. Most of the bryophytes are also found in southern South America, but there are four endemic liverworts, occurring only in the Falklands. Up to 20 mosses have been considered endemic, but that number is decreasing as further study improves understanding of the moss flora.

LICHENS

Lichens are an important component of the terrestrial biota of the Falkland Islands. The famous botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker, who visited the Falklands in 1842, remarked that “Nowhere in the world are lichens more conspicuous than in the Falklands”. Currently, c. 400 taxa are reported from the islands, over 30 of which have been described from Falklands’ collections since 2000, but many more await discovery – particularly from the high-ground, which remains relatively under-explored for lichens. The lichen biota of the islands has close affinities with that of Tierra del Fuego but also includes c. 30 apparently endemic taxa.