Herbarium details: University of Canterbury Herbarium (CANU)


Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8020
New Zealand


+64 3 364 2730


+64 3 364 2083



Off Creyke Road, Ilam, Christchurch





A university established with its own Act of Parliament and funded by the state.  The herbarium is attached to, and administered by, the Department of Plant and Microbial Sciences of the univeristy.


To provide material for research, reference and teaching, and to serve as a repository for voucher specimens and departmental research collections.

Scope of Collections

Indigenous and adventive plants from New Zealand and outlying islands only except for Compositae.  Some foreign collections of Compositae, mainly Tasmanian.  Greatest geographic strength is Canterbury, particularly Cass area.  Greatest systematic strength is in the Compositae.  Of historical interest is material collected by R.M. Laing, C.A. Foweraker, and D. Petrie.

Number of Collections


Estimated breakdown of the known number of specimens:

Angiosperms 28 450
Gymnosperms 650
Pteridophytes 2 700
Mosses 3 050
Liverworts 500
Lichens 750
Algae 5 00
Total 41 000

Important collections

The R.M. Laing algal herbarium (5000 specimens) which is now at CHR on long–term loan.

The major collectors represented in the herbarium are:  C.J. Burrows, A.T. Dobson, B.A. Fineran, E.A. Hodgson, M.T. Kalin, R.M. Laing, D.A. Norton, W.R. Philipson, J.M. Ward, R.K. Wilson.

Ancillary Collections

Spirit collection, mainly Compositae (Gnaphalieae and Senecioneae).
Plant macrofossils, Triassic–Tertiary.   Wood samples.

Staff and Research

Herbarium Curator:  Dr Pieter Pelser
Herbarium Manager:  Reijel Gardiner

No full time staff.