The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) is an online resource that provides dynamic access to the wealth of plant specimen data held by Australian and New Zealand herbaria. The AVH is a collaborative project developed under the auspices of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH).

Australian and New Zealand herbaria house over eight million specimens of plants, algae and fungi. These specimens provide a permanent record of the occurrence of a species at a particular place and time, and are the primary resource for research on the classification and distribution of the Australasian flora.

Herbarium specimens are accompanied by information on where and when they were collected, by whom, their current identification, and information on habitat and associated species. To date, almost 80 per cent of the specimens housed in Australian and New Zealand herbaria have been databased. This data forms a valuable resource for a wide range of stakeholders, including:

  • conservation agencies
  • universities and schools
  • the scientific community
  • biodiversity networks and conservation groups
  • natural resource, agriculture and forestry agencies
  • environmental consultants
  • Australasian and international herbaria and botanic gardens.

The combined specimen data from each herbarium’s collection provides the most complete picture of the distribution of Australia’s and New Zealand’s flora to date. Data obtained via the AVH can be used for many different purposes, including:

  • mapping plant, algae and fungi distributions
  • planning revegetation work
  • tracking the distribution of invasive species
  • bioprospecting
  • conservation planning
  • prioritising resources for plant collecting and biodiversity surveys
  • historical research.

The AVH is a dynamic resource. New specimen records are added as herbaria continue to database their ever-growing collections, and existing records are updated to reflect name changes and data validation work.

Contributing herbaria

The State Herbarium of South Australia (AD), Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
The Herbarium (AK), Auckland War Memorial Museum
The Queensland Herbarium (BRI), Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation (DSITI)
The Australian National Herbarium (CANB), Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, CSIRO Plant Industry and the Australian National Botanic Gardens
The University of Canterbury Herbarium (CANU), University of Canterbury
The Allan Herbarium (CHR), Landcare Research NZ Ltd
The Australian Tropical Herbarium (CNS), a joint venture of CSIRO Plant Industry and the Director National Parks (through the Australian National Herbarium), the Queensland Government (through the Queensland Herbarium and the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA)) and James Cook University
The New South Wales Plant Pathology and Mycology Herbarium, Orange Agricultural Institute, Department of Primary Industries, Orange, New South Wales.
The Northern Territory Herbarium, in Darwin (DNA) and Alice Springs (NT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources
The Wallace Herbarium, Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden, Batemans Bay, New South Wales.
Tasmanian Herbarium (HO), Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Department of State Growth
The James Cook University Herbarium (JCT), James Cook University
The Lincoln University Herbarium (LINC), Lincoln University
The La Trobe University Herbarium (LTB)
The National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL), Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
The University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU)
The Dame Ella Campbell Herbarium (MPN), Massey University
The N.C.W. Beadle Herbarium (NE), The University of New England
The National Herbarium of New South Wales (NSW), Botanic Gardens Trust
The New Zealand Forestry Herbarium (NZFRI), SCION
The New Zealand Fungarium (PDD), Landcare Research NZ Ltd
The Western Australian Herbarium (PERTH), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
The Herbarium (WELT), Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa
The Janet Cosh Herbarium (WOLL), The University of Wollongong

Terms of use

The use of the Australasian Virtual Herbarium is subject to the terms of use outlined below. The Australasian Virtual Herbarium forms part of the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA); see the ALA Terms of Use for additional information.

With the exception of the AVH logo, the images on the Home page, and where otherwise noted, all material presented on this website is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. This allows for re-distribution of the data and any derivative works based on the data, provided that the source of the data is acknowledged.

Content from this website should be attributed as:

AVH (<current year>). The Australasian Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <>, accessed <date of access>.


The Australasian Virtual Herbarium (AVH) data is supplied as is. No warranty, express or implied, is made concerning the accuracy or fitness for a particular purpose of the data. The user shall use AVH at their own risk. The Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria Inc. (CHAH) will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from the use of or reliance upon the data, or reliance on its availability at any time.

The views, opinions, findings and recommendations expressed on this service are those of the author(s) and data custodian(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Commonwealth Government, any Australian state or territory government, any Australian regional government or any other Australian government agency.

Reference on this service to any specific commercial products, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favouring by CHAH or any Australian Government agency, and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.


Information from this service resides on a computer system funded by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments of Australia. The Australasian Virtual Herbarium uses Google Analytics to monitor site usage for statistical purposes. The information logged may include: the user’s Internet protocol (IP) address and top level domain name, the date and time the site was visited, the pages accessed, the queries performed and data downloaded, the previous site visited and the browser used. Any unauthorised access to this system is prohibited and is subject to various Australian criminal and civil laws.

In order to use certain features available on the AVH website, you must register as a user with the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA). When registering, a genuine e-mail address must be provided.

In some cases, you may be asked to provide your real name or other identifying or contact details – such personal information will be managed in accordance with the ALA Privacy Policy.