Botany

The documentation and study of the flora and vegetation, in particular of Styria, is the main task of the botanists at the Joanneum. The twin focuses lie on the groups of fern allies and flowering plants on the one hand, and macroscopic fungi on the other.

The botanical collections mainly consist of the Herbarium comprising more than 500,000 specimes in the meantime. It is continuously added to and made accessible to specialists in the field.

Research work primarily concerns themes to do with the macroscopic fungi and vascular plant flora of Styria as well as the vegetation of this province.

With a wide-ranging programme of talks, seminars and excursions, we offer curious laypeople and those with more advanced knowledge the chance to educate themselves further and to get to know others interested in biology.   

Last but not least the botanists at the Joanneum make sure that visitors to the Natural History Museum encounter botanical and fungi-related themes in the exhibitions that are set up in an informative and attractive way.

Botanical collections

The Herbarium is at the core of the botanical collections. It contains more than 500,000 herbarium specimes, each one documenting the occurrence of of a particular plant species at a particular place and time, like an archival piece as it were.

The Herbarium of the fern allies and flowering plants was set up by Archduke Johann as part of the founding of the Joanneum. Numerous herbarium specimens from the 19th century originate not only from the territory of today’s Austria, but also from the former crown countries of the Balkan peninsula. In the second half of the 20th century mainly herbarium specimens gathered in Styria found their way into the collection.

Since 1985 the Herbarium of macroscopic fungi has experienced notable growth; the geographical emphasis is that of Styria, including adjoining regions. The bryological collections (mosses) of Johann Breidler and Julius Glowacki are also of importance; together they amassed over 80,000 moss items from the second half of the 19th century up to the beginning of the First World War.

A small, special collection from the 19th century is the Xylotheque. This is a ‘wooden library’ with boxes in book-form, each one of which documents a particular shrub or tree species. The boxes are worked from wood of the concerned species, and their interior shows leaves, twigs, blossoms and fruits belonging to each respective species. The Xylothek of the Joanneum comprises over 400 artfully made volumes.

The pomological collection is also of great cultural-historical value. It derives from the second half of the 19th century and encompasses over 300 models of different fruit varieties, more than half of which are sorts of apples.

Centre of Natural History


8045 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9000
naturkunde@museum-joanneum.at