History of the herbarium

Centuries of collecting 

The herbarium of Meise Botanic Garden has a rich history and dates back to 1871. Since then, we have built up a worldwide collection with a focus on Belgium, tropical Africa, and Latin America, supplemented with collections from South-Western Europe. 

Our herbarium is the pre-eminent reference collection for the Central African Flora. No less than 85% of the specimens ever collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi are present in this herbarium. 

By acquiring collections from Latin America in the second half of the 19th century, the herbarium of Meise Botanic Garden is also a very important reference collection for Latin America. 

We were able to increase the collections from our own country and from Southwestern Europe mainly through donations from other Belgian herbaria and through inheritances from (amateur) botanists.