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Public-images-osm logo.svg ref:herbarium
Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet vasterifran.jpg
Used for the Index Herbariorium code on an institution which has a herbarium. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: references
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)may be used on relations
Status: de facto

This is a classic variation on the ref=* used to identify institutions which have an internationally recognised [W] herbarium. The use of the key implies the existence of a herbarium (i.e., a specialised type of museum or scientific collection), and should only be used as an attributive key. It therefore should be used in association with one of the following:

  • tourism=museum: Major museums such as the Natural History Museum, London (BM), most regional museums with a natural history collection are likely to have a herbarium.
  • leisure=garden, garden_type=botanical: Botanical Gardens ((e.g., Missouri Botanical Garden MO)
  • amenity=university Historically university botany departments will have had a herbarium. If they also have a botanical garden the herbarium will usually be co-located and the tag should be applied to that location. For instance University of Nottingham NOT (in the biology department collections) and Leicester LTR (at the botanical garden). In addition some colleges & schools may hold collections.
  • office=research Research institutions independent of museums or universities.
  • amenity=research_institution see above
  • Learned societies.
  • club=natural_history Natural History societies (often older ones might be called Field Clubs. For instance the Limerick Field Club LIMFC. Some of these may he held privately.
  • amenity=library For instance Bromley House holds a small herbarium NGM
  • office=* Commercial entities, NGOs & government bodies which collect plants as an incidental part of their work, for instance environmental consultancies, environmental charities.

Herbarium codes are widely used to refer to plant specimens. For instance : LINN 792.1 refers to the type specimens of Linnea borealis collected by Carolus Linneaus and named by him after himself, and held in the Linnean herbarium of the Linnean Society (of London). The largest & most important collections tend to have a one-letter code (e.g., K for Kew Gardens). There are around 3000 indexed at Index Herbariorum.


  • Ideally the tag would be placed in association with the actual location of the herbarium, but in practice museums and botanical gardens (the main places with herbaria) are not micromapped in detail. In addition some institutions will have multiple locations for different parts of their herbaria. Therefore in general place it on the main element which carries the name of the institution (i.e., tourism=museum, leisure=garden).
  • Do not map the key for privately held herbaria.