Herbarium News and Highlights

Exciting Plant Guide Published

FINH were delighted to welcome visitors in celebration of the launch of a new publication: Field Guide to the Plants of the Falkland Islands, a collaboration between Falklands Conservation and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A comprehensive guide to the plants of the Falkland Islands, including the 181 native vascular plants, this publication is fully illustrated with photographs to enable field identification. The guide will be a valuable tool for professional botanists and keen amateurs alike, and is available from the Falklands Conservation shop.

International Cooperation

An exciting consignment on nearly 400 new specimens was received in 2019 from colleagues at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The plant specimens had all been collected, pressed, and dried in the Falkland Islands, and had been sent to Kew for careful mounting and digitisation as part of an ongoing partnership. Volunteer Curator Helen Marsh has been working on integrating the specimens into our existing collection and merging the data, making them available for researchers, conservationists, and any other keen visitors.   

Natural History Museum

In 2019 phycologists Professor Juliet Brodie and Dr. Rob Mrowicki from The Natural History Museum, London spent time at the FINH to assist with identifying, photographing and cataloguing our small collection of algae. Juliet and Rob have been conducting fieldwork in the Falkland Islands to identify, survey and record the seaweed species found in our waters. This is an area that has been studied very little before now, and they have been finding many previously unrecorded species. We hope to continue to grow our collection of seaweeds, to better represent the diverse array of species which are found here. Juliet and Rob also spent time with Falklands Conservation’s young members The Watch Group, investigating the seaweed of the shores of The Falkland Islands and leading fabulous activities.

A French Connection

In 2017 we received a request from Germinal Rouhan, Curator of Ferns and Lycophytes at The Muséum National d’Histoire, Paris asking us if we could send specimen of Comb Fern, Schizaea australis to be used for research. The Comb Fern is included in the Protected Plants list in the Falkland Islands, so we needed to apply for a licence to collect and export a sample of this lovely fern.  The Comb Fern was first recorded in the Falkland Islands in 1820 by Gaudichaud‐Beaupre however wasn’t seen again for nearly 200 years, leading to the belief that it had been recorded in error. It was finally rerecorded in 2009 on West Falkland, and since then another three populations have been recorded. We also provided a leathery shield fern to the same collection in 2015.