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The herbarium serves as an aid in teaching. It is difficult for students to collect local plants and identify them without the help of a herbarium.
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New York City, NY (prHWY.com) June 22, 2012 - Herbarium, is a collection of dried specimens. The herbarium serves as a reference centre, a documentation facility and data storehouse of the plant specimens collected from far-flung areas. They are mounted on appropriate sheets, arranged according to some known classification and kept in pigeonholes of steel or wooden cupboards, usually specially prepared for the purpose. Herbaria range from a small personal collection to a large collection from schools, colleges, universities, private foundations and government agencies. The number may range from hundred to millions of specimens depending upon the space and utility of herbarium.
Different Kinds of Herbaria
The contents or holdings in herbarium vary according to the interest of the organization or institution. All kinds of plants for teaching and research, plants of medicinal and aromatic value and even weeds may find place in a herbarium.
Functions of Herbaria
1) As a conservatory of material and data a herbarium, is a special kind of museum that can also be regarded as a data bank with vast quantity of raw data. Each specimen has information content, which depends on the completeness of the specimen and data and the source of material. Each specimen has information about the vegetation of an area, a population, and the taxon to which it belongs. These herbarium specimens are now used for biochemical systematic (DNA fingerprinting etc.), palynology (study of pollen and spores), cytogeography and genecology (study of genealogy).
2) Supplement in teaching and research
The herbarium serves as an aid in teaching. It is difficult for students to collect local plants and identify them without the help of a herbarium. 'The role of herbarium in biosystematics and compilation of endangered species is uncontested and was never before appreciated so well, as today.

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