Skip to content

Hong Kong Herbarium


  • The first step to conserve the Hong Kong flora is to study and understand them.
  • What is a Herbarium?
    A herbarium is a collection of plant specimens that usually have been dried and pressed, carefully mounted on sheets of quality paper, identified and labelled with important information about them, and stored and arranged on shelves in cabinets in the sequence of an accepted classification. These specimens are the key to our knowledge of plants and serve as a permanent reference to the diversity of plants and for other scientific studies. They also serve as a definitive reference for the identification and correct naming of newly collected plants. Herbarium collections have been built up over the years by the efforts of numerous botanists and plant collectors. In short, a herbarium is analogous to a library of carefully preserved plants where the specimens themselves and the labels associated with them provide invaluable information for scientific studies.
  • The Hong Kong Herbarium managed by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department is responsible for the systematic collection, identification and curation of specimens representative of the Hong Kong flora.
  • It plays a significant role in supporting studies on taxonomy, ecology and conservation of the Hong Kong flora.
  • In addition to a collection of plant specimens, the Herbarium is also equipped with a library to support its function.
  • The Herbarium also maintains a web-site (http://www.herbarium.gov.hk), providing information on local plants.
Hong Kong Herbarium

Back to Top


The Hong Kong Herbarium

  • The Hong Kong Herbarium was established in 1878 and is the most comprehensive herbarium in Hong Kong. There are approximate 47 100 plant specimens for examination.

  • The collection includes vascular plants collected mainly in Hong Kong, Southern China and other countries of Southeast Asia. The arrangement of the plant specimens of the families of the ferns (Pteridophytes) follows the system of R.C. Ching in 1978; those of the naked-seed plants (Gymnosperms) follows that of Kubitzki in 1990; and those of the flowering plants (Angiosperms) follows the system of Cronquist in 1988.

  • Within the collections, there are around 300 type specimens(the specimens which were described and used for the designation of new species) making the Herbarium regionally important.

The Hong Kong Herbarium
Back to Top

Hong Kong Plant Database

  • Hong Kong Plant Database provides information and images about the plants of Hong Kong (including the native and exotic species that have been recorded in Hong Kong), based primarily on the specimen records of the Hong Kong Herbarium.

  • The following information of each selected plant species is provided when available:

圖:Camellia hongkongensis 香港茶
Camellia hongkongensis

Camellia hongkongensis

1. Hong Kong Plant Database records more than 3,300 plants of Hong Kong (including native and exotic species that have been recorded in Hong Kong) which based primarily on the specimen records of the Hong Kong Herbarium.

2. The following information of each selected plant species is provided when available:

(A) Colour Photographs: more than 9,100 high-resolution images, including photos shown in the Flora of Hong Kong Vol. 1 to 4; and

(B) Species Information: Scientific Name, Synonym(s), Common Name(s), Chinese Name(s), Family Name, Flowering Period, Fruiting Period, whether it is a native plant to Hong Kong, whether it is scheduled under the Forestry Regulations, Forests and Countryside Ordinance (Chapter 96 sub. leg.), whether it is a native plant which is protected under Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Chapter 586), etc. Meanwhile, taxonomic details are provided by online version of Flora of Hong Kong.

3. Whilst the Hong Kong Herbarium endeavours to ensure the accuracy of the information of the Hong Kong Plant Database, no express or implied warranty is given by the Herbarium as to the accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for use in any particular circumstances. The information provided by the Hong Kong Herbarium on the database is for reference only and any constructive comment and contribution to the database will be very much appreciated.

Note: For display of some Chinese common names, please install the Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set (for Windows XP users) to view the unique Hong Kong Chinese characters.

[ENTER - Hong Kong Plant Database]


Services of the Hong Kong Herbarium

  • The Herbarium provides assistance on matters related to plant taxonomy and responds to enquiry on Hong Kong Flora to government departments, researchers, students and other members of the public.

  • The Herbarium is also responsible for compilation of the Check List of Hong Kong Plants at regular intervals.

  • Interested persons are welcome to visit the Herbarium or study the reference books kept at the Herbarium library, and, by prior appointments, study the specimen collection (Rules for using Herbarium Collections). Group visits to the Herbarium can also be arranged by appointment.
Check List of Hong Kong Plants


Rules for Using the Herbarium Collection

1. Plant taxonomists, professional botanists and other accredited research workers will be able to make use of the Herbarium reference and specimen collections with prior arrangement with the Herbarium staff.

2. Other visitors including students of tertiary institutions, school teachers, and workers from other related organizations, will be given access to the reference library. They may use the Herbarium specimens only with prior arrangement and with the supervision of Herbarium staff. A letter from their organization summarizing the background of the project and purpose of using the herbarium specimens should be produced.

3. Photography of herbarium specimens could be made only by appointment and prior permission from the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation should be sought.

4. Herbarium specimens must be handled with great care. The Herbarium staff reserve the right to deny any access to herbarium specimens to those who do not properly handle the herbarium specimens.

5. Herbarium specimens must be kept inside the specimen room.

6. Plant specimens must be treated before they are brought into the Herbarium specimen room.



圖:Camellia hongkongensis 香港茶 Location :
  Room 737,
7/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices,
303 Cheung Sha Wan Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
  Opening Hours :
Weekdays : 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
1:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays : Closed
  Contact Us :
Telephone No. : (852) 2150 6900
E-mail : herbarium@afcd.gov.hk