Lower Plants


Hypnum lacunosum

We are happy to answer any queries you may have about the collections or lower plants in general, please fill in the feedback form. For specific staff contacts within the Lower Plant Section see the Lower Plants staff page.

Our lower plant herbarium and specialist botanical library are open to visitors by appointment. If you are looking for information that is not specific to any of the museum departments, then you should look at the main library pages.

We hold archives relating to lower plant collections and collectors within the Museum. These contain many insights into the scientific lives of the botanical collectors that have made the lower plant collections at the museum what they are today. The archives can be made available for study by appointment or in some cases by loan (see below). To book an appointment please contact Head of Lower Plants, Ray Tangney.


The Lower Plant Section operates an international loan service to institutions including the loan of type specimens. Individuals should seek affiliation with their local museum or university to facilitate loans on their behalf. Exception is made for members of the British Bryological Society. We retain the right to refuse any loan if we are not in any way satisfied with the security of our material. All loan enquiries should be directed to the Head of Section, Ray Tangney.

Identification Services

The section as part of a public funded institution will carry out identifications free of charge subject to status. We reserve the right to decline this service if the request is unreasonable e.g. too large, too time consuming, or because we lack relevant expertise. The section will undertake identifications on a commercial basis under contract. Prospective clients should detail the project and request costed proposals from Ray Tangney.


We encourage committed volunteers who wish to gain experience in curation and/or lower plants. There is limited space for these placements, and volunteers need to be able to attend the section on a regular basis. Please contact us if you are interested.

Work Experience Placements for students are also possible. Please send a form via your school.