Rhodes>Schonland Herbarium>Collection Information

Detail of the collection and other holdings

The Schonland Herbarium houses approximately 250 000 plant specimens, the 4th largest collection in South Africa.  Taxonomic coverage is broad, and although the majority of specimens are Angiosperms, the herbarium has a very large collection of algae based on Mary A. Pocock's work. Geographically, GRA focuses on the flora of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, although collections from most parts of southern Africa are also available, including the Amy Jacot-Guillarmod Lesotho material. The herbarium also has specimens from other regions of Africa and other continents. GRA includes specimens from many pioneering botanists including Bolus, Britten, Burchell, Dyer, Ecklon, Flanagan, Galpin, MacOwan, Marloth, Pappe, Pegler, Rogers, Schlechter, Sim, Zeyher, Jacot-Guillarmod.  Important contemporary collectors include Phillipson, Lubke and Dold. Thanks to Schonland’s early exchange programmes the herbarium is exceptionally rich in type specimens with nearly 3000 types all digitized and available on JSTOR. Ancillary collections include a carpological collection (fruits), a large exotic plant collection and a "Quick Guide" identification section.


The herbarium library holds a small but valuable collection of books and journals belonging to the Albany Museum, Rhodes University and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The library is not a lending library but Inter Library Loans are made available to Rhodes University. Very valuable Africana material is locked away. The oldest book in our possession is Basil Besler's Hortus Eystettensis, which dates from 1613. You can find a list of our Rare Books.pdf. These books are stored under controlled environmental conditions in the Cory Library of Rhodes University. Access to these books can be arranged through the Curator.

Last Modified: Thu, 19 Oct 2023 16:30:48 SAST