Presented here are some of the older herbarium collections, kept by our museum.
Due to their sensitivity to light and humidity, the collections themselves must be
abalone shells sea ears
kept in the museum depositories, while in the exhibition rooms they can be
presented only through words and pictures. Here is also exhibited a part of the
wood collection that was on display as early as in 1831 during the museum's
celebration opening. This is one of the oldest natural history collections of the first
museum in Slovenia. The wood samples are sawn in the shape of book spines, and
the names on them are inscribed with golden letters as book titles.
Herbarium is a collection of dried and systematically arranged plants. The name
originates from Latin: the word herba
denotes a plant. Herbariums are kept for
learning and research purposes.
The older herbarium collections are part of our cultural heritage, part of the history
of botanical science in our country. In them, the country's botanical memory is
The old herbariums kept by the Slovenian Museum of Natural History comprise
some 50,000 sheets. Among them is the oldest known herbarium in Slovenia.
Carrying the year 1696, it was created by Janez Krstnik Flysser, a physician from
Ljutomer. This is a 45 x 31 cm large book with wooden covers, bound in leather.
The herbarium comprises 204 pages. On each of them, four or five dried plants are
pasted, 993 in total. They are arranged in alphabetical order by the initials of the
used names, which are of course pre-Linnaean. In the first place, there is the Latin
name used at that time, to which the German name was added in most cases. In the
herbarium, no data on the plants' natural sites can be found. The great majority of
the plants is characteristic of our places as well, from the Adriatic coast to the
Alpine peaks, while some are ornamental species. Herbariums from the second part
of the 18th and 19th centuries are classical collections of separate pages and sheets,
on which the dried plants are usually pasted. They are equipped with tags on which
at least Latin names are inscribed. The Slovenian Museum of Natural History
keeps the collections of numerous natural historians, who gathered plants on our
soil, the most valuable among them being those of Balthasar Hacquet, Karl Zois,
Franc Hladnik, Henrik Freyer, Valentin Plemel and many others. Baron Karl Zois
was the younger brother of the mineralogist Žiga Zois. He studied the fauna of the
Slovenian Alps, and thus discovered many a new species. After him, Zois'
Bellflower and Zois' Violet were named, as well as Zoysia, the genus of tropical
A special attraction are the dried (exsiccate) herbarium collections, which were
published in several copies, equipped with printed tags. The author or editor of the
collection sent the sheets in centuria, in batches of a hundred. In collections of this
kind , various botanists participated. One of the first collections of this kind was
the German Dried Flora (Flora Germanica exsiccata), made during the 1830-1845
period. It comprises 2,600 sheets, and in its making several Carniolan (Slovenian)
botanists also took part. The Slovenian Museum of Natural History keeps one of
the rare complete copies of this prominent collection.