Botany emerged as a scientific field during the Renaissance thanks to naturalists such as Pierre Belon from Sarthe. It then grew considerably. In Sarthe, the herbaria resulting from the passion of local botanists are kept in the Green Museum.
The botanical collections of the Green Museum consists of 48 herbaria representing about 65,000 pieces. Among those, it’s possible to identified:
- André-Pierre Ledru Herbarium (1767-1825), botany professor, naturalist in the expedition of Baudin of the National Museum around Antilles from 1796 to 1798. 1,300 pieces of France and Antilles. This herbarium has the oldest pieces preserved at the Green Museum, collected by Bernard de Jussieu in 1764 in the Gardens of the Trianon of Louis XV, as well as the donations of famous french botanists such as René Desfontaines or Antoine Laurent de Jussieu.
- Eugène Monguillon Herbarium (1865-1940). 17,150 pieces of mosses and lichens from Europe, there are several dozens of types. This herbarium have been realized from collections of plants of Monguillon but also by exchanges alongside a hundred french and european botanists.
- Ambroise Gentil Herbarium (1842-1927). 5,500 pieces of higher plants from Sarthe. Historical herbarium of reference for the Sarthe department. Contains types.
- Jean Bouvier-Desnos Herbarium (1880-1937). 2,690 pieces from France. There were several exchanges with other local and national botanists.
- Louis Déan-Laporte Herbarium (1856-1942). 1,057 pieces from Sarthe collected between 1888 and 1899.
- Victor Rendu (1809-1877) and Henri Rendu (1844-1902) Herbarium. 7,400 pieces from all over France. It contains collections done in Alps, on the Mediterranean coast and in Paris region, as well as shipments from plenty of french botanists. We find several extinct species at regional or national level.
- Adrien Henri Herbarium (1867-1941). 4,534 pieces from Sarthe and Western France.
- Auguste Launay Herbarium (1854-1922). 3,000 pieces from swamps of Cré (Sarthe).
- Louise Cauvin (1776-1847) and Thomas Cauvin (1762-1846) Herbarium. Professor at the Central School of Sarthe. 2,900 pieces from Maine, Bretagne, Normandy and Italy, collected between 1790 and 1836.
- Thomas Grant Harbison Herbarium (1862-1936). Herbarium ordered by the american billionaire Georges W. Vanderbilt. 389 pieces from North America collected between 1897 and 1903.
- Louis-Alphonse Brébisson Herbarium (1798-1872), mosses from Normandy collected between 1826 and 1838.
- Louis Chevallier Herbarium (1852-1938), 107 plants from Sahara collected at the end of the 19th century.