home space latest news space meg

Virtual Herbarium


Welcome to Seagrass-Watch's Virtual Herbarium.

  1. What is a Virtual Herbarium
  2. Navigating the Herbarium
  3. Collecting for the Herbarium



What is a Virtual Herbarium:

A Virtual Herbarium is an electronic gateway to the collections of Seagrass-Watch HQ herbaria. The goals of the Virtual Herbarium are to make specimen data available electronically for use in biodiversity research projects; to reduce transport of actual specimens for projects where digital representations will suffice for study; and to provide a source of reference information for Seagrass-Watch participants.



Navigating the Herbarium:

To browse the Herbarium you can either display by Geographic area or by Taxonomic genus.  Select from the drop down menus below.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the size of certain herbarium, pages may take a while to display. Please be patient!







Collecting for the Herbarium

Anyone can contribute to the herbarium.

Before collecting any seagrass specimens, ensure you have the appropriate permits if required.

In the field, collect a handfull of representative shoots, including the rhizomes and roots. Ideally, collect plants with reproductive structures and growing tips.

Press collected specimens as soon as possible after collection.

If it is going to be more than 2 hours before you press the specimen then you should refrigerate to prevent any decomposition. Do not refrigerate longer than 2 days, press the sample as soon as possible.

Wash the seagrass sample in clean water and carefully remove any debris, epiphytes or sediment particles.

Layout specimen on a clean sheet of white paper, spreading leaves and roots to make each part of the specimen distinct.

Fill out specimen labels with site information, including:

  • location & site code (if applicable)
  • date collected
  • latitude/longitude
  • water depth
  • % seagrass cover
  • sediment type
  • other seagrass species present
  • name of collector
  • comments

Place the label on lower right hand corner of paper.


Place another clean sheet of paper over the specimen, and place within several sheets of newspaper.

Place the assemblage of specimen/paper within two sheets of cardboard and then place into a herbarium press, winding down the screws until tight (do not over tighten). If you do not have a press, a few heavy books will suffice.

Allow to dry in a dry/warm/dark place for a minimum of two weeks. For best results, replace the newspaper after 2-3 days.

Send the pressed specimen to:

Seagrass-Watch HQ
Sir Robert Norman Building (E2.203K)
James Cook University
Cairns QLD 4870

Alternatively, you can email a scanned image of the pressed specimen. Please ensure that the scanned image is no less then 600 dpi and includes the species and label. Scanned images can be sent to Email:



This database is designed to provide biological and ecological information on seagrass species. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by Seagrass-Watch HQ for its accuracy, currency or completeness. Seagrass-Watch HQ does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources.
Copyright © 2006-2019 Seagrass-Watch HQ. 228pp. Disclaimer: The views expressed on this site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the program's supporters.
Seagrass-Watch HQ
Address: Northern Fisheries Centre
PO Box 5396
Cairns Qld 4870
Phone: [07] 40 350 100