Finnish Museum of Natural History

Global Plants Initiative – Digitization of type specimens

The Global Plants Initiative (GPI) is an international partnership of more than 300 herbaria from all around the world. The goal of this undertaking is to digitize and make available high-resolution images of type specimens of plants, fungi and algae. These images, with interpreted label information and links to primary sources, are presented through the community-contributed Global Plants database.

Article 7.2 of the International Code of Nomenclature of algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) states that a nomenclatural type is the element to which the name of a taxon is permanently attached.

Botanical Museum (H), Finnish Museum of Natural History, University of Helsinki, has been a Global Plants partner since 2009. Lead by Professor Soili Stenroos, GPI Helsinki is digitizing type specimens of lichens, vascular plants and bryophytes.

Separately housed collections Herb. E. Acharius (lichens), Herb. W. Nylander (lichens) and parts of Herb. V. F. Brotherus (extra-European mosses) have been investigated for type specimens, and so far either completely or partly digitized. Possible type specimens of vascular plants from Herb. C. von Steven, exceptionally rich in types either collected and described by Steven or acquired through exchange with leading botanists of the 1800s, have been extracted from the general collections for GPI Helsinki.

Finland born taxonomist and entomologist Christian von Steven (1781-1863) collected extensively in southern Russia including the Caucasus and the Crimea. Label of specimen H1036076, collected in Azerbaijan near Khinalug in June 1810 (left). Steven's subsequent protologue describing the name Beta macrorhiza Steven published in Mém. Soc. Imp. Naturalistes Moscou 3: 257. 1812 (right). Photo: Luomus/Ari Taponen.

In 1834 Botanical Museum purchased the collection left by the celebrated Swedish lichenologist Erik Acharius (1757–1819). Holotype of Graphis caribaea Ach. (597G), together with other specimens of the same taxon glued on H9501436. Photo: Luomus/Sanna Laine.

Bryologist Viktor Ferdinand Brotherus (1849-1929) was one of the internationally most renowned Finnish scientists of his time. Specimens in Herb. V. F. Brotherus cover almost the entire Earth. Type of Brotherella planissima Broth. = Brotherella henonii (Duby) M.Fleisch (H3301572). Photo: Luomus/Jaana Haapala.


Person in charge of the page: 
Saara Velmala