Herbarium details: New Zealand Fungal Herbarium (PDD)


Maanaki Whenua – Landcare Research
Private Bag 92170
Auckland 1030
New Zealand


+64 9 527 5500


+64 9 527 5501



261 Morrin Road, Tamaki, Auckland



The herbarium, started about 1920 by G.H. Cunningham, was transferred to DSIR, Plant Diseases Division in 1936.  Plant Diseases Division and Entomology Divisions merged in 1989 to form DSIR Plant Protection.  In 1992 the Herbarium and its associated research became part of Landcare Research.


Crown Research Institute


To acquire, preserve and maintain a collection of New Zealand fungi;  to support associated systematic research; to provide a specialist information service for various organisations and government departments both within New Zealand and throughout the Pacific; and to be a voucher repository for plant disease records for New Zealand and for island nations of the South Pacific.

Scope of Collections

The herbarium is one of few sizeable collections of fungi in the southern Hemisphere.  All the major groups of fungi are represented, with the emphasis on the plant parasitic microfungi and wood decay basidiomycetes.  Indigenous fungi are well represented, and approximately 1260 type specimens of New Zealand fungi are held.  Specimens collected during surveys of plant diseases in the South Pacific are deposited in PDD.  Exchange programmes are maintained with Australian, British, Canadian and German herbaria.

Number of Collections

72 000.  Of these, about 6 000 come from Pacific Islands, and 19 000 from other countries.


Several databases are associated with the Fungal Herbarium.  All of these databases are currently being upgraded to provide an integrated information system for floristic, nomenclatural, and herbarium management purposes.

The herbarium has an online, searchable specimen database. The collections database is part of the wider NZFUNGI database. Searches can be made by PDD number, organism name, associated organism (host), country, ´Crosby district´ within New Zealand, substrate (data incomplete), habitat (data incomplete), collector, and collector´s number.

The database also includes fields with more precise locality data than is provided over the internet, locality geo–reference data (GIS mapping capability is planned), history of specimen re–identifications, as well as specimen and loan management fields, etc.

In addition to information on all specimens held in PDD, the NZFUNGI database contains data on 13 000 names used in New Zealand and includes full bibliographic citations for many. These names include synonyms and many incorrectly applied names appearing in the literature. The bibliographic component contains nearly 8 000 article references, 6 000 names are linked to 2 000 articles on the systematics and pathology of New Zealand fungi, with further information on 2 000 host organisms. 

Ongoing development includes links to pictures, descriptions, and keys to the various taxa.

Important collections

The herbarium is the main repository for New Zealand collections made by G.H. Cunningham (Aphyllophorales, Gasteromycetes, Uredinales), J.M. Dingley (Ascomycetes), E. Hoak (Agricales), S.J. Hughes (Hyphomycetes, sooty moulds), R.F.R. McNabb (Agaricales, Boletaceae, Dacrymycetaceae, Strobilomycetaceae, Tremellaceae), R.H. Petersen (Clavariaceae) and G.J. Samuels (Ascomycetes).  The herbarium also has some of the fungal collections made by W. Colenso.  These specimens, on long–term loan from the National Museum of New Zealand, usually bear locality names, data which are missing from Colenso specimens held at Kew.  K. Curtis´s collection of about 400 extant specimens is held on long term loan from the Cawthron Institute.  Fungal specimens from the herbarium of the Plant Health and Diagnostic Station, Levin (LEV) have been incorporated into PDD.

Ancillary Collections

The library associated with the herbarium concentrates on taxonomic mycology and plant pathology, with many separates.  The International Collection of Micro–organisms from Plants (ICMP) is also maintained.  This is primarily a collection of plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi maintained freeze–dried or in liquid nitrogen.  It currently contains 6,250 bacterial and 4,750 fungal cultures, including the culture collection of fungi which was previously associated with herbarium LEV.

Staff and Research

Herbarium Curator:  Dr Eric H.C. McKenzie (rusts and smuts, hyphomycetes, plant pathogens, fungi of the Pacific) mckenziee@landcareresearch.co.nz
Dr Ross E. Beever (hypogeous fungi) beeverr@landcareresearch.co.nz
Dr Peter K. Buchanan (wood rotting basidiomycetes) buchananp@landcareresearch.co.nz
Dr Peter R. Johnston (ascomycetes, especially inoperculate discomycetes) johnstonp@landcareresearch.co.nz
Mrs P.J. O´Sullivan (curation) osullivant@landcareresearch.co.nz
Dr Shaun R. Pennycook (nomenclature, bibliography, plant pathology) pennycooks@landcareresearch.co.nz

Major collaborators
Egon Horak, ETH, Zürich, Switzerland (agarics)
Kálmán Vánky, HUV, Tübingen, Germany (smut fungi)
Steven L. Stephenson, Fairmont State College, West Virginia, USA (Myxomycetes)