As part of the research on the opium poppy, we had the chance to visit two large European herbaria, including that of the Musée national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN), the world’s largest one in term of volume and historical value.
The collections are generally not not open to the public, and are dedicated to research on systematics, global plants studies and conservation. The French MNHN vascular plant herbarium in the Jardin des Plantes (Paris, France) hosts ca. eight million specimens from all regions of the world. The Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de Genève (CJBG) is one of the most important in the world with ca. 6 millions of specimen.
Importance of herbaria to study plant origin
Samplings of seeds and leaves were carried out in the framework of the AgriChange project. GMM pioneer studies have been realized in A. Jesus’s Ph-D thesis defended in December 2021 at the University of Basel under the supervision of F. Antolin (Jesus et al. 2021). DNA analyses are in progress.
Just below, some pictures of the visits. We thank Florian Jabbour, assistant professor at the MNHN, and curator of the Papaveraceae at MNHN Herbarium.
To learn more
About digitized specimens from several herbaria through the e-ReColNat infrastructure.
Le Bras, G., Pignal, M., Jeanson, M. et al. (2017) The French Muséum national d’histoire naturelle vascular plant herbarium collection dataset. Sci Data 4, 170016 . https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.16 Access
Muller, S., Invernón, V. R., & Rouhan, G. (2021). Les herbiers, témoins des enjeux de conservation de la biodiversité et des impacts des changements globaux. Les collections naturalistes dans la science du XXIe siècle: Une ressource durable pour une science ouverte, 253 (in french). Access
L’herbier du Muséum-L’aventure d’une collection, coed. Artlys, MNHN, 2013 (in french). Access
Some photographies taken at the MNHN Herbarium in 2018, by P.-A. Chouvy. Website