The Australian National Herbarium (Index Herbariorum code: CANB) provides a national focus for plant taxonomic and systematic endeavour and serves as the Commonwealth's prime resource for botanical information. Its collections support and authenticate the taxonomy used in genetic and ecological work undertaken by the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research and other botanical programs of the CSIRO as well as authenticating the living and image collections and the horticultural research programs of the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG).

CANB comprises the herbarium component of CSIRO's National Research Collections. The collection was founded by the former CSIRO Division of Plant Industry, but several other collections have subsequently been incorporated.

  • The Eucalyptus collections of CSIRO's Forest Research Institute (Index Herbariorum code: FRI) were incorporated into CANB in 1987.
  • In November 1993 an agreement was signed between CSIRO and the Director of National Parks (then the Australian Nature Conservation Agency) to form the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR; then the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CPBR). One part of the agreement was to amalgamate the Australian National Botanic Gardens' herbarium collections (formerly the Canberra Botanic Gardens; Index Herbariorum code: CBG) into CANB. The physical amalgamation of the majority of the two herbarium collections on the CSIRO's Black Mountain site took place in 1994.
  • The Australian National University's Chemistry Department herbarium collection (Index Herbariorum code: ANUC) was incorporated into CANB in 1996.

The herbarium code CANB is used for the combined collections, although individual specimens originally from CBG will continue to be cited with CBG accession details. The approximately 250,000 CBG specimens are included in the total for CANB.

The Australian National Herbarium's collection previously housed in Atherton (Index Herbarium code:QRS) now forms part of the Australian Tropical Herbarium in Cairns (Index Herbarium code: CNS).

Data from the collections of the Australian National Herbarium are available through the ANH website and as part of the collective Australia's Virtual Herbarium

Collection statistics from: (Last updated: February 2015)

Taxonomic range

All plant and fungal groups; large cryptogam collection; voucher collections for Australian National Botanic Gardens.

The flowering plant collection is held in the Australian National Herbarium building on the CSIRO's Black Mountain site, at the corner of Barry Drive and Clunies Ross Street in Acton.

The cryptogam, fern and gymnosperm collections are held in the Herbarium Building at the Australian National Botanic Gardens, near the corner of Clunies Ross Street and Black Mountain Drive in Acton.

Kingdoms covered include: Fungi and Plantae.

Geographic range

Worldwide, with a particular focus on Australia and its off-shore territories, New Guinea, and the southwestern Pacific.

Number of specimens and cultures in the collection

The estimated number of specimens and cultures in the Australian National Herbarium is 1,142,785.

Of these 810,768 are databased. This represents 70.9 % of the collection.

Click the Records & Statistics tab to access those database records that are available through the atlas.


The Australian National Herbarium contains these significant collections:

  • Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, Robert Brown - Historical Collection (c. 1200 specimens)
  • Eucalyptus
  • Orchidaceae
  • Tropical rainforest taxa - Australia and Papua New Guinea
  • Lichens
  • Mosses

Usage statistics

Metadata last updated on 2016-08-09 09:59:47.0

Digitised records available through the Atlas

The Australian National Herbarium has an estimated 1,142,785 specimens and cultures.
The collection has databased 70.9 % of these (810,768 records).

Looking up... the number of records that can be accessed through the Atlas of Living Australia Click to view all records for the Australian National Herbarium

No records are available for viewing in the Atlas.

Images from this collection