Bolton Library and Museum Services

Botany

There are about 60,000 specimens in the botanical collection. Most of these are herbarium specimens which are either pressed, dried and mounted on to sheets of paper or are dried and stored in packets. All the specimens are labelled with the plant name; place and date of collection and the name of the collector. Most of the specimens date from the mid-nineteenth century but the oldest specimens date from 1729 and the newest up to the present day.

This type of museum specimen when first collected was never intended for display but for study, however today, these specimens are used for many new purposes too. Examples include identifying unknown plants; revealing plant distribution patterns across the country and giving an insight into the lives of their collectors and their travels.

Status of wild plants

The UK has an international obligation to protect those living species which appear on either the Bern Convention or the European Community Habitats and Species Directive

Staus of wild plants

Classification of plants

By classifying living things an attempt can be made to organise the hundreds of thousands of species into a meaningful scheme based on their life-history.

Classification of plants