Herbarium, a collection of plants, preserved for storage and display and systematically arranged for scientific study. Properly dried and mounted, plants keep for centuries. The London Linnaean Society has a number of specimens that the father of scientific botany, Carolus Linnaeus (1707–1778), prepared himself.
Kew Gardens in London, with several million specimens from all over the world, is one of the largest herbaria. Other large collections include those of the Natural History Museum, London; Jardin des Plantes, Paris; Jardin Botanique, Geneva; Harvard University (consisting of the combined collections of Gray Herbarium at Jamaica Plain and herbaria of the Arnold Arboretum and Harvard University Botanical Museum at Cambridge, Massachusetts); New York Botanical Garden, New York City; and U.S. National Herbarium, part of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
The collector for a herbarium selects perfect specimens of each plant. The whole plant is arranged in a natural position and pressed between sheets of blotting paper. When dry, each specimen is mounted on a sheet of heavy paper. Bulky fruits are saved in boxes. The sheet or box is labeled with the common and scientific names of the plant, the date and exact place it was collected, and a description of the soil it grew in.