Herbarium pacificum algae collection

Koa (Acacia koa)

Digitization Project

Lobelia koolauensis

Ficus sp.

Brownea sp.

Ma`o hau hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei) Hawai`i State Flower

Liliko`i (Passiflora edulis)

Herbarium Pacificum staff at work

The Herbarium Pacificum (BISH) collection consists of more than 710,000 plant, algae and fungi specimens. Our emphasis is on Hawai‘i and the Pacific Basin, but we also house representative material from other world regions. The collections of Hawaiian plants form the largest and most comprehensive assemblage of such specimens in the world, with approximately 187,000 specimens.

Numerous collections of major importance to Hawaii and Pacific botany and phycology are located at BISH, including those by H. St. John, F.R. Fosberg, O. Degener, J.F. Rock, C.N. Forbes, B.C. Stone, D.R. Herbst, W.L. Wagner, D. Nelson, U.J. Faurie, G.C. Munro, H. Mann, W.T. Brigham, I.A. Abbott, and M.S. Doty.

The following are a selection of on-line and databases checklists for botanical information maintained by the Bishop Museum.

General information

The Herbarium Pacificum is open to visitors from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays..

All visitors must make arrangements at least one week ahead of intended visit with the Collections Staff (phone: 808 848 4181). Qualified researchers will be granted permission for the use of the collection based on their experience, space and project. The taxa to be investigated must be stated. Special requirements must be made at the time of the arrangement of the visit. Tours of the collection may be granted upon request.

Herbarium functions

Archival storage of historic vouchers of plant material.
Provide professional identification of living and preserved plant material.
Provide access to specimens for in-house research by qualified researchers. Researchers justify their use of the collection by stating the nature of their project, the need for the use of the collection, and that the herbarium be cited in published research.
Provide loan of specimens to qualified scientific researchers.
Herbarium procedures for use of the collection

  • Do not carry living or dried plant material into herbarium (do not wear flowers or lei). All incoming specimens are dried then frozen for two weeks.
  • Herbarium staff will provide space for you to work and equipment that you may need. Herbarium staff will also demonstrate the correct handling of specimens.
  • Removal of material or any part of a specimen, without permission, will result in the barring of that person from the use of Herbarium Pacificum.
  • Type specimens are kept in a separate Types Room. If you need to examine Type Specimens, staff will make them available to you upon request.


  • Loans are made by written arrangement between the Collection Manager and the Director or Manager after filling out our Natural Sciences Collections Access and Use Request Form.
  • Loans are always made to institutions, not individuals, and must never leave the borrowing institution without permission of the Bishop Museum.
  • Loans of specimens are not made to local O‘ahu institutions.
  • Loans are made for one year for general collections, three months for Types.
  • Loans must be housed in conditions equal or better than Herbarium Pacificum.
  • Each specimen on loan must be annotated by the researcher prior to return.
  • An institution’s failure to meet these requirements may jeopardize future lending to that institution.
  • When loans are returned, they are frozen for two weeks before being returned to their shelves.

To request a loan, please fill out our online Natural Sciences Collections Access and Use Request Form

Barbara Kennedy, Collection Manager
(808) 848-4181 | bkennedy@bishopmuseum.org

Clyde Imada, Research Specialist III
(808) 848-4175 | cimada@bishopmuseum.org

Roy Tsuda, Research Associate
(808) 847-8224 | roy.tsuda@bishopmuseum.org

To request a back of house collection tour please fill out our online Natural Sciences Collection Tour Request Form

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