The Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History botany collection (known as NSPM in scholarly publications) contains more than 60,000 specimens. These include a herbarium of 20,000 sheets of vascular plants. Significant collectors include the Erskines (John and his son David) and A.W.H. Lindsay, H. How, A. H. Mackay and P. Taschereau, M.L. Fernald of harvard and his students.

Of the non-vascular plants, we have 25,000 wet and dry algae specimens, most of which were collected by staff of the National Research Council of Canada (C. Bird, J. McLachlan, T. Edelstein) and by noted Maritime algologist Constance MacFarlane. The 2,500 dry fungi include the L. E. Weymeyer collections of international significance, and the K. A. Harrison collections. J. S. Erskine and R. R. Ireland (CAN) contributed greatly to our 3,000 specimens of hepatics and bryophytes. The lichen collection of almost 1,000 specimens includes material from J. Erskine, K. Casselman and I. Brodo (CAN).

There are also more than 9,000 catalogued photographs of botanical subjects (native flora, historic gardens and illustrations) by photographers Mary Primrose, Alex Wilson, Tim Randall, and Fred Joyce. The collection also includes watercolours and line drawings by artist Azor Vienneau, author and artist A. E. Roland and others. We have a remarkable collection of models in a variety of media including work by David Coldwell and ceramic mushroom models by the Lorenzens of Lantz, N. S.

Access to specimens and data records
Specimens may be viewed, studied or loaned to institutions through prior arrangement with Sean Haughian, Curator of Botany, 902-424-3564.

Unfortunately the herbarium records are only partially entered into a database and are not accessible in this format. Species-at-risk data is available to those with a legitimate need to know.

Other significant Nova Scotia botanical collections:

  • Herbarium at Acadia University, Wolfville (ACAD)
  • Herbarium at Dalhousie University, Halifax (DAL)
  • Herbarium at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Truro (NSAC)
  • Herbarium at The University College of Cape Breton, Sydney