State Herbarium celebrations

This week, on 9 Dec. 2014, over 90 current and former staff members, volunteers, plant collectors, State Herbarium friends and other guests gathered in the National Wine Centre of Australia to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the State Herbarium of South Australia. This also launched a year of celebrations, with other functions, seminars and talks being planned for 2015.

The State Herbarium was established in 1954 by bringing together several different herbaria from The University of Adelaide, the South Australian Museum and other private and institutional collections.  With about 1.035 million specimens, it is now one of the largest herbaria in Australia.

The Celebrations started with an acknowledgment of the Aboriginal inhabitants of the Adelaide area by State Herbarium Manager Peter Canty. This was followed by Helena Jenkinson from the Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, who welcomed everyone to the function. Chief Botanist Prof. Michelle Waycott, then spoke about the history of the State Herbarium and its function today.

Michelle Waycott, Helena Jenkinson & Sandy Carruthers discussing the State Herbarium

During the event, a slide show with photographs from the last 60 years, made history come alive and helped the audience to remember the State Herbarium during these years. A new anniversary brochure about the State Herbarium and its collections was also available.

Next year, we also celebrate the 160th anniversary of the first South Australian herbarium, started in 1855 by the Director of the newly established Adelaide Botanic Gardens, George William Francis.  Unfortunately the whereabouts of this collection are unknown.

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