Swansea Herbarium

In 2006, the vascular plants component of the Swansea University herbarium (UCSA) were donated to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales (NMW). The bryophyte collection has been retained at Swansea. The collection consisted of about 5,000 vascular plant specimens, but after curation consists of 4,256 specimens as material which had been seriously damaged by insects or was inadequately labelled was discarded. The material has all been remounted on conservation grade mounting card and documented on the museum’s collection management system and is available here.

As might be expected from a university herbarium compiled by staff and students, about half of the material was collected in South Wales. The following vice-counties in the UK and Ireland are represented: 1–31, 33–46, 48–50, 52–59, 61–66, 69–70, 72–73, 78, 83–85, 88–94, 96–97, 100, 103–105, 107–108, 110–112, H1–H3, H9, H15–H16, H24, H27–H28, H38 and the Channel Islands. Material had also been collected on university field trips or whilst attending conferences in Greece (423 specimens), Spain (395), Iceland (212), Norway (114), India (88), France (46), Sweden (41), Austria (35) and Kenya (23), with small amounts of material from Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Greenland, Italy, Malawi, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, Tanzania, West Indies and Zaire.

There is a broad taxonomic coverage, but notable was the relatively large Poaceae collection (1,100 specimens) compared with the three top other families Asteraceae (329), Cyperaceae (306) and Fabaceae (274) which included a collection which had formerly belonged to C. Bucknall. The only significant research collections were of Q.O.N. Kay (mainly Asteraceae, unfortunately badly damaged) and some Melampyrum material from A. J. E. Smith.

The main collectors are Q.O.N. Kay (1,224 specimens collected between 1959–1990), A.J.E. Smith (982 specimens 1956–1963), J. Hayward (226 specimens, 1950–1962), C.R. Hipkin (176 specimens, 1962–1984, mostly collected with H. Hipkin), R. Webb (128 specimens, 1954–1970) and M.L. Page (108 specimens, 1975).