A herbarium is a collection of dried plants for scientific study. Like a museum, it is curated and is accessible to researchers and interested members of the public. A herbarium is a historical record of a region's flora, cataloguing the anatomy, molecular information, and distribution of each plant species. It documents botanical discovery over hundreds of years and records changes in plant diversity over time, facilitating long-term studies of the natural environment.
Founded in 1907, the Vascular Plant Herbarium of the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba (WIN) houses the most extensive and broadly representative collection of vascular plants of Manitoba, 85,000 specimens including a reference seed collection. For over 100 years, WIN has served as an important resource for taxonomic research and for studies documenting the distribution and ecology of Manitoba’s vascular plant species.
A Virtual Herbarium with over 26,000 specimen records, most of which are georeferenced and linked to high-resolution images, are now accessible through Canadensys and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).