Herbarium of vascular plants and mosses [TAA]

The Herbarium was founded in 1947, when the newly established Institute of Biology (later Institute of Zoology and Botany) was entrusted with the Estonian Naturalists’ Society’s collection of 15 000 herbarium sheets. This consisted mainly of the Society’s exchange herbarium, which was collected between 1920-1940, and of the Baltic-German Botanical Herbarium, collected mainly in the 19th century. The Herbarium’s main focus is to collect and preserve specimens from taxa growing in Estonia. Besides providing data for answering taxonomic questions, the large quantity of material within the Herbarium makes it possible to investigate species’ patterns of variability and distribution. The Herbarium preserves genetic material from different time periods.

The smaller-scale Herbarium Generale is used primarily to provide reference material for the identification of Estonian plants.

Botanical evidence, cited in a variety of scientific articles, is preserved within the collection.


  • 177 000 specimens of vascular plants
  • 36 500 exemplars of bryophytes
  • 1300 specimens in Teaching Herbarium
  • 1300 seed samples from 700 taxon

Data from November 2021.


The Herbarium of Vascular Plants consists of the Estonian Plant Herbarium, the Herbarium Generale and the Seed Collection.

The Dendrological Herbarium is preserved as a small, separate collection.

  • THE ESTONIAN HERBARIUM contains more than 156 000 herbarium sheets. A large part of the material was collected during investigations of Estonian flora in the second half of the 20th century. At that time, the main herbalists were Estonia’s best known botanists, including Maret Kask, Linda Viljasoo, Vilma Kuusk, Heljo Krall, Livia-Maria Laasimer, Visolde Puusepp, Haide-Ene Rebassoo, Silvia Talts and Ella Tammemägi. As a result of the botanical investigations of that period, the 11-volumed work „Estonia’s SSR Flora“ was completed. In 2020 the „Atlas of the Estonian flora 2020“ was published. 23 000 specimens collected during this Project are deposited in TAA herbarium.
    The historical part of the collection originates from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. You can find here herbarium sheets from many botanists and plant collectors of that time, including Alexander Georg von Bunge, Paul Lackschewitz, Theodor Lackschewitz, Johannes Klinge, Carl Maximowitsch, Karl Reinhold Kupffer, Rudolf Lehbert, Alexander von Schrenk, Julius Killoman, Hugo Kapp and Gustav Vilbaste. To the historical part belongs also „ Flora exsiccata Liv-. Esth- und Kurlands“ compiled by Alexander Georg von Bunge in years 1849-1853. The exsiccata in TAA collection includes 1700 specimens.

    The collection has been extended by several donations:
        Priit Kohava Collection (600 specimens)
        August Muuga Collection (300 specimens)
        Tiiu Trei Water Plant Collection (600 specimens)
        Ellen Vilbaste Collection (800 specimens)
        Jakob Esser Collection (780 specimens)
        Taavi Tuulik Collection of plants of Hiiumaa island (1500 specimens)
        Malle Leht Collection of Fabaceae with 106 species, mostly Vicia and Lathyrus species (900 specimens)
  • THE HERBARIUM GENERALE’S material (nearly 21 000) originates primarily from the Russian Arctic and Siberia, from the European part of Russia, from Central-Asia, the Far-East, Caucasia, North America, Central and Southern Europe, Scandinavia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Herbarium Generale is organised systematically in a similar way to the Estonian Herbarium.

  • The Karl Ernst v. Baer Herbarium, which dates back to the 19th century, contains ca 12 000 herbarium sheets, and this is kept as a separate collection. Material here originates from western Europe, Siberia, Caucasia and from areas around the Caspian Sea, from Asia, Africa and also from Estonia. The organization and digitalisation of this collection took place in the years 2016 – 2018. As a result of this organizational work, the Baer Collection is now visible in databases for all those interested: https://elurikkus.ee/projects/karl-ernst-von-baer


In the Vascular Plants’ Collection there are 30 type specimens (from the families Calystegia, Carex, Crepis, Dactylorhiza, Hieracium, Hordeum, Juncus, Lepidium, Ranunculus.


TAA0052538 Carex rhizina Blytt ex Lindblom f. depauperata K.Eichw.
TAA0085325 Dactylorhiza baltica (Klinge) N.I.Orlova var. kuzkenembe Pikner
TAA0112099 Dactylorhiza maculata (L.) Soó var. nummularia Pikner
TAA0111736 Dactylorhiza osiliensis Pikner
TAA0111741 Crepis biennis L. var. silviae Üksip
TAA0111744 Dactylorhiza ×kuuskiae E.Breiner et R.Breiner
[Dactylorhiza baltica (Klinge) Orlova × D. ruthei (M. Schulze ex Ruthe) Soó]
TAA0111745 Dactylorhiza ×reitaluae Hennecke, E.Breiner et R.Breiner
[Dactylorhiza incarnata (L.) Soó × D. ruthei (M. Schulze ex Ruthe) Soó]
TAA0111750 Hieracium nigrosilvarum Üksip
TAA0111752 Hordeum caudatum Jaaska
TAA0111759 Lepidium latifolium L. f. pubescens Kuusk
TAA0111760 Turritis glabra L. f. glaberrima Kuusk
TAA0150756 ×Dactylodenia palustris Kurbel


TAA0111737 Dactylorhiza osiliensis Pikner
TAA0111738 Dactylorhiza osiliensis Pikner
TAA0111739 Ranunculus auricomus L. subsp. smithii Julin
TAA0111740 Ranunculus auricomus L. subsp. semiorbicularis Julin
TAA0111742 Crepis biennis L. var. silviae Üksip
TAA0111746 Dactylorhiza ×reitaluae Hennecke, E.Breiner et R.Breiner
[Dactylorhiza incarnata (L.) Soó × D. ruthei (M. Schulze ex Ruthe) Soó]
TAA0111749 Hieracium uranopoleus Üksip
TAA0111751 Hieracium paldiskiense Üksip
TAA0111753 Hordeum caudatum Jaaska
TAA0111754 Hordeum caudatum Jaaska
TAA0111755 Hordeum caudatum Jaaska
TAA0111756 Hordeum caudatum Jaaska
TAA0111757 Hordeum caudatum Jaaska
TAA0111761 Turritis glabra L. f. glaberrima Kuusk


TAA0111747 Hieracium ×disputabile Sennikov
TAA0111748 Hieracium ×disputabile Sennikov
TAA0111758 Juncus bulbosus L. subsp. bulbosus var. submucronatus Proćków


TAA0150757 ×Dactylodenia palustris Kurbel

Digita data  are visible:

NATARC https://natarc.ut.ee/taimekogud.php

PlutoF https://plutof.ut.ee/

eElurikkus http://elurikkus.ut.ee/


From 2014 – 2020 the Estonian University of Life Sciences has been actively taking part in the compilation of a new atlas of distribution of Estonian plants. During this time period, the herbarium has been mostly extended in connection with the work on the atlas. In the course of the project more than 23 000 herbarium sheets have been added to the collection. You can find out more about the new plant distribution atlas at the following website: https://ottluuk.github.io/atlas/


The Vascular Plant Collection also includes the Seed Collection, where over 700 taxa can be found. The seeds are preserved in glass containers or in plastic bags at room temperature.
Seeds of the Estonian wild orchid are kept separately in a freezer at minus 80 degrees.



The Bryophyte Collection consists of the Estonian Herbarium and the Herbarium Generale. It consists of approx. 36 500 moss samples.
1386 moss species and 30 varieties or sub-species are represented in the Herbarium. Material from Estonia contains 590 taxa.

1349 moss species and 30 varieties or sub-species are represented in the Herbarium. Of these 128 taxa are liverworts (4364 exemplars) and 442 species and 19 lower taxa bryopsidas (13 980 exemplars).

THE ESTONIAN HERBARIUM forms the largest part of the collection, which was primarily collected in the time periods 1945-1955, 1966-1972 and from 1988 to the present day.

THE HERBARIUM GENERALE consists of almost 2300 moss samples. The Baltic States, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Caucasia, Asia, Siberia, the Far-East, Africa, Australia, South America, North America and the Arctic are distinguished as separate regions.

The Australian collection is large and consists of samples collected by Heinar Streimann form different regions of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Papua and Norfolk.
The South American collection consists mainly of bryophytes collected from Brazil by Schäfer-Verwimpi. In addition, there are moss samples from Panama (Nele Ingerpuu) and Peru (Leiti Kannukene).
A large proportion of the Arctic samples have been obtained from the Estonian Museum of Natural History as duplicates (from Taimõr) and another part from Russia, sent over from exchange herbariums specific to various Arctic regions.

The historical part of the collection originates from the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. It consists of altogether approximately 7700 specimens.
       • Edmund Russow’s collection of peat mosses (4237 specimens)
       • J. Micutowicz’is collection of peat mosses (226)
       • The Estonian Naturalists’ Society Moss Herbarium (244 species), collected by Andreas Bruttan
       • Eugen Niclasen’s collection (409 specimens)
       • Karl Girgensohn’s collection (2506 specimens)



Excsiccata contains 1325 samples of bryophytes.

   1. Flora Exsiccata Liv-, Est- und Curlands. Herb. Hugo Kapp, 19. saj. (165 ex.)
   2. Musci Frondosi Exsiccati (Europe) Karl Friedrich Bernhard Fiedler 1842–1848 (50 ex.)
   3. Musci Frondosi Exsiccati (Europe) Karl Friedrich Bernhard Fiider 1847–1848 (385 ex.)
   4. Bryotheca Polonica, Nr.201–250, Antoni Józef Żmuda Krakow, 1930 (50 ex.)
   5. Hepaticae et Musci URSS Exiccati, Nr. 1–50, Leningrad,1957, Nr.51–190, Leningrad, 1961–1962 (254 ex.)
   6. Bryophyta Murmanica Exsiccata Fasc I, Nr. 1–50, Fasc. III Nr. 101–150 Kirovsk, 1989; Fasc. III Nr. 101–150 Kirovsk 1998. (98 ex.)
   7. Bryophyta Rossica et Civitatum Collimitanearum Exsiccata Fasc. I–IV, Nr. 1–100, St.-Petersburg, 1995 (100 ex.)
   8. Bryophyta Karelica Exsiccata Nr. 1–50 (51 ex.)
   9. Musci Ausralasiae Exsiccati, Canberra, 1992–1997 (105 ex.)
   10. Bryotheca Europaea - Die Laubmoose Europa’s, L.Rabenhorst, 1861 Fasc. IX. Nr. 401-450 Dresden, Druck von G.(?) Heinrich (63 eks.)



In the bryophyte collection there are seven type specimens.


TAA5005227 Myriocoleopsis riparia Reiner, Maria Elena & Gradst.


TAA5005221 Sphagnum majus (Russow) C.E.O.Jensen
TAA5005223 Sphagnum wulfianum Girg.
TAA5005226 Tortula lingulata Lindb.


TAA5005222 Sphagnum girgensohnii Russow
TAA5005224 Sphagnum wulfianum Girg.
TAA5005225 Sphagnum wulfianum Girg.



Toomas Kukk (tomkukk@gmail.com)
Mare Leis (Mare.Leis@emu.ee)

Thea Kull (Thea.Kull@emu.ee)

Herbarium, Kreutzwaldi 5D–208, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 51014 Tartu

© 2017 EMU Loodusteaduslikud kogud Kontakt: kogud [ät] emu.ee