With more than 90,000 specimens, the New Caledonia Herbarium is both a historical collection of heritage value for the Pacific region and a scientific tool for knowledge and nature protection.
Founded in 1963 by ORSTOM and scientifically managed by UMR AMAP since 2009, the New Caledonia Herbarium (NOU) contains a collection representing all 3400 species of New Caledonian flora. Three-quarters of these species are endemic, and local and international taxonomists have described an average of one new endemic species per month since the 2000s. As such, the NOU Herbarium is the guarantor of the maintenance and availability of a floristic heritage of world interest. Every year, more than 200 environmental actors are welcomed free of charge (research institutes, consulting firms, local authorities, associations, etc.). The Herbarium's historical collections (the oldest of which date back to 1836) are concrete witnesses to the great colonial expeditions and trace the history of New Caledonia.
While the vast majority of the collection (90%) is devoted to the flora of New Caledonia, the rest includes specimens from other Pacific countries (Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji, New Zealand, Wallis & Futuna...).
The collection contains now about 100,000 herbarium plates, including 814 types (mainly isotypes). In addition to the Herbarium plates, the collections also contain 702 specimens in the alcohol library, 238 specimens in the carpothèque and more than 3000 samples preserved in the silicatheque. All phanerogamic collections are computerized and cryptogamic collections are in the process of becoming so. The digitization of the collection is in progress with more than 70,000 digitized samples, including all types.
The taxonomy is in accordance with the reference of the flora native to New Caledonia "Florical":
- Morat P., Jaffré T., Tronchet F., Munzinger J., Pillon Y., Veillon J.-M. & Chalopin M. 2012. Le référentiel taxonomique Florical et les caractéristiques de la flore vasculaire indigène de la Nouvelle-Calédonie. Adansonia sér. 3 34(2): 177-219.
- Munzinger J., Morat Ph., Jaffré T., Gâteblé G., Pillon Y., Rouhan G., Bruy, D., Veillon J.-M., & M. Chalopin. [continuously updated]. FLORICAL: Checklist of the vascular indigenous flora of New Caledonia.