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Herbarium (KUN)
source:     author:     2009-10-17


Herbarium of Kunming Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KUN), came from the herbarium of Yunnan Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, which was founded by Prof. Hu Xian-Su and other botanists in 1938 under the support of Fan Memorial Institute of Biology in Beiping (Beijing) and Yunnan Education Department of the time. KUN was then one of the earliest herbaria in China, its main collections were the duplicate specimens collected by the Fan Memorial Institute of Biology in Yunnan, and the collections were increased gradually thereafter, largely due to the work of the famous collectors such as Cai Xi-Tao, Wang Qi-Wu, Yu De-Jun and Feng Guo-Mei.

Yunnan Institute of Agriculture and Forestry was renamed as Kunming Station of Institute of Plant Taxonomy, CAS in 1950, and the name was changed again as Kunming Station of Institute of Botany, CAS in 1953, until Kunming Institute of Botany was founded in 1959. The first curator of the Herbarium might be Prof. Wang Fa-Zuan, who was followed by Prof. Zheng Wan-Jun, Prof. Feng Guo-Mei, Prof. Yin Wen-Qing, Prof. Li Xi-Wen, Prof. Fang Rui-Zheng, Prof. Chen Shu-Kun, Prof. Sun Hang, Prof. Zhou Zhe-Kun and Prof. Peng Hua at the present.

During the past years, KUN has built a long-term and steady relationship with the famous herbaria all over the world in the way of specimen loan, exchange and gift. It has become one of the most important herbaria for botanists worldwide, and is playing a more and more important role in Chinese plant research.


KUN is the second largest herbaria in China with more than 1.22 million sheets of specimens (see the table below), including approximately 12,000 type specimens. The specimens were collected from all over China, especially abundant in the materials from Southwest China and Hengduan Mountains region, with the great contributions from various collectors and expeditions, including Cai Xi-Tao, Dulongjiang Exped., Feng Guo-Mei, Hengduanshan Exped., Yellow River Exped., Li Ming-Gang, Mao Pin-Yi, Motuo Exped. (ETM, Sun Hang, Zhou Zhe-Kun et al.), South-to-North Water Diversion Exped., Peng Hua, Qin Ren-Chang, Qinghai-Tibet Exped., Qiu Bing-Yun, Sino-USSR Yunnan Exped., Wang Qi-Wu, Wu Quan-An, Wu Su-Gong, Wu Zheng-Yi, SW United University Exped., Yu De-Jun, Yuxi Exped.; Li Xing-Jiang (Bryophyte),Zang Mu (Fungi). Moreover, the collection is still growing with a yearly addition of around 10,000 new specimens through a programme of joint work with overseas colleagues, expeditions, gifts and exchanges with other institutes at home and abroad.

Collection Catalog in KUN

Higher fungi






Lignum sample

Dipped specimen

Duplicate specimen












Capacity of Storage

The main building of KUN was constructed in 1980 and the new extension was completed in 2002, which makes KUN an area of 6169 m2, including 2631 m2 for specimen preserving by far. It was designed for a load of 3 millions sheets of specimens in total and is capable of meeting the need of collection increase within the following 50 years.

Management & Research Team

Till now, the KUN staff is comprised of 9 employees, of which 5 are keepers and 4 researchers (including the curator). Many Other botanists from KIB are also active in the herbarium, such as Academician Wu Zheng-Yi, Prof. Li De-Zhu, Prof. Sun Hang, Prof. Zhou Zhe-Kun, Prof. Li Xi-Wen, Prof. Pei Sheng-Ji, Prof. Wu Su-Gong, Prof. Fang Rui-Zheng, Prof. Li Heng, Prof. Su Zhi-Yun, Prof. Zang Mu, Prof. Li Xing-Jiang, Prof. Yang Zhu-Liang, Prof. Tao De-Ding, Dr. Shui Yu-Min, and so forth.

Recent Achievements

The completion and publication of Flora Yunnanica (21 volumes).

Core partner of Flora Republicae Popularis Sinicae Project.

Core partner of Flora of China Project.

Information and technical support to the “Database of Resource Plants in SW China” and “China Germplasm Bank of Wild Species”.

More than 700,000 specimens have been digitized with on-line access.

See more details through the attached files:


KUN staff.doc
Visitor Policy.doc
Loan Policy.doc
Destructive Sampling Policy.doc
Contact Us.doc
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