Herbarium (Dry and Virtual) digitization and development

The Herbarium collection was started in 1983 by Walter at the Auroville community of Shakti, and the Virtual Herbarium was started in 2014 as a project of Pitchandikulam Forest. These were transferred to the Auroville Botanical Gardens in 2019-20, where we continue to maintain, consolidate and grow the collection, adding plant specimens both from Auroville and from the forests of the bioregion. Resources at the Gardens include not only the physical Dry Herbarium (previously housed in Shakti Nursery, Auroville) but its on-going supplementation with virtual specimens, a resource available for public access through https://www.aurovilleherbarium.org/.

We currently hold around 15,130 accessions from 3928 species at the Herbarium, with 309 species documented photographically and available online as of February 2024 – figures that will grow as the collection is developed further by the team.