John Ray Herbarium

A microscope positioned over a dried plant sample

The John Ray Herbarium is one of the largest university herbaria in the country with about 50,000 specimens. It is located in the Heydon-Laurence building and is curated by Associate Professor Murray Henwood.

It was created by the first professor of botany, Professor A. Lawson, in 1916. Conceived as a collection to which students and staff could refer, it is also a repository for specimens collected during various research enterprises.

Among the holdings there are a number of significant historical collections. For example about 1500 specimens collected by R.H. Cambage (a geologist and amateur botanist early this century) and a complete set of W.H. Lucas' algal collection.

The John Ray Herbarium also houses collections relating to published taxonomic and morphologic research in plant systematics and plant ecology from previous and current researchers in the School. Including, Vickery and Fraser (vegetation of the Barrington Tops), W.J. Peacock (cytotaxonomy of Goodenia), B.G. Briggs (taxonomy of Ranunculus and Darwinia), Smith-White and Carter (cytotaxonomy of Brachycome), Weston (phylogeny of Persoonia and relatives), Carolin (taxonomy and phylogeny of Goodeniaceae), Carolin and Myerscough (vegetation of coastal sand masses), Larkum (ecology and physiology of algae), Allaway (Epacridaceae) and Henwood et al. (Apiales).