Ship of the desert docks at RNG

One of the roles of the University of Reading Herbarium (RNG) is to support the activitites of research students, by providing material, which may be sampled under supervision. While Sue Mott (RNG Deputy Curator) was looking for a specimen for Widad Aljuhani, who is conducting PhD research on developing molecular tools for identification of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars, she came across this slightly unusual specimen in the North African date palm folder (pictured below). One of the aspects of Widad’s project is to include date palm cultivars from other countries, to look for similarities at the molecular level. Continue reading

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MSc Plant Diversity students get extra training in the preparation of herbarium specimens

The University of Reading Herbarium (RNG) is one of the few university based herbaria still actively collecting  in the UK. While the collection is of modest size, some 300,000 specimens it is particularly valuable for DNA based research due to its high proportion of modern collections. An updated website for the herbarium was recently launched ( and the Herbarium  twitter feed ( posts items of interest e.g. the recent visit of the President of the Cyclamen Society. In addition to being an important research resource, student training is a major part of our activities.

Sue is demonstrating the correct way to mount plant specimens.

Sue Mott is demonstrating the correct way to mount plant specimens.

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