The botanical collections have existed since the museum was founded. The collection’s inventory is comprised of higher plants, algae, lichens, mosses and fungi of primarily Central European distribution.

The origins of the Herbarium date back to when the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum (Musealverein) was established in 1833. The collection was maintained for years by members of the Musealverein. Following the transfer of the museum to the State of Upper Austria in the year 1920, state employees were responsible for the collection as custodians. Specialised maintenance was largely carried out by freelance staff. After establishing a botanical work group at the museum in the year 1931, its members maintained the collection. Dr Franz Speta – 1970 to 2003 – and Dipl.-Ing. Dr Martin Pfosser – since 2003 – represent the first time fully trained botanists have acted as custodians.

The scope of the collection is currently approx. 1.1 million items. Approx. 75% of the inventory consists of flowering plants and ferns, 10% lichen, 7% mosses and 8% fungi.

The geographic coverage corresponds to the flora of Central and Eastern Europe with a focus on the flora of Austria and neighbouring countries. Special attention is paid to systematically related species of the taxon found in the collection area without geographical restriction. This ensures that the collection can be analysed in line with scientific criteria.

Special collections broaden the portfolio. These include the flora of Costa Rica, which has been gathered through years of research cooperations with the University of Vienna and the society Regenwald der Österreicher (Rainforest of the Austrians). There are also historic collections, such as a wood collection (Xylotheque) and the Harder-Herbarium of 1599. An additional highlight is the quite laboriously prepared Metlesics-Herbar [Metlesics herbarium] which is one of Europe’s most beautiful plant collections. A seed collection, fluid-preserved specimens, live collections and a DNA sample collection supplement the extensive holdings.

The collection holdings are stored exclusively at the Biologiezentrum Linz of the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum. The collection is documented via lists, inventory register and the Database ZOBODAT.

Research projects include the taxonomic-systematic processing of the collection, which is analysed according to biogeographical, evolutionary, nature conservation and ecological criteria.
The historic and current documentation and analysis of Upper Austria’s flora is considered an ongoing project.
Special projects include the biogeographical and systematic analyses of the plant group asparagales ("Asparagus species") and the genus of Hieracium ("Hawkweed").


  • Contributions to Upper Austria’s natural history
  • Linz biological contributions
  • Stapfia



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