Exploring a National Treasure

Have you ever wondered about our national flower, the Double Chaconia - to learn more of its origins, its real name or how to grow it?  Or perhaps, what is the name of those plants your grandparents used to cure the cold and other diseases when ‘bush medicine’ was used by just about everyone?  Do you know about all the other species of the ‘Passion fruit’ in the world?

There are so many questions that we can ask about plants and there is one place in our country that can provide in-depth information about them or lead you to the correct sources for information.

Wandering into the Sir Frank Stockdale Building can present several surprises.  While several research centres operate here the oldest institution, The National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago (NHOTT), quietly serves our country to provide a wealth of information on the plants of our country.  Our dedicated staff welcome anyone from the campus, general public or even foreign visitors who bring specimens for identification or seek assistance with the other services that are offered here.

We serve the Government, the public, we serve YOU.  Take time to visit our institution and learn the wealth of natural history that our country possesses.

 

Welcome to the National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago!

The National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago (TRIN) which was formally established in 1887, maintains an archival collection of the indigenous and exotic plants of Trinidad and Tobago with the earliest specimens dating from 1842.  This collection now stands at over 50,000 specimens and expanding continuously through our research activities. The specimens are primarily used for plant identification by comparing an unknown specimen with correctly identified specimen/s in the collection.  

The collection is divided into 4 main groups :- The vascular flora of native and exotic species including samples from Belize, Guyana, Suriname and the Greater and Lesser Antilles, most of which were acquired by exchange; a marine macro-algae collection, a bryophyte collection and a special collection of Theobroma and Herrania species inherited from the Anglo-Columbian Cocoa Collecting Expedition of 1952-53 to the tributaries of the Amazon and Magdalena rivers in the Andes by staff from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA) Cocoa Research Scheme. This is the only collection of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and will be useful in relation to the cacao germplasm collection held at St. Augustine.