The Herbario Nacional de México, the Mexican National Herbarium, is the most important collection of plants in Mexico and the biggest such collection in Latin America. More than 1.3 million specimens put the Herbarium among the ten busiest plant collections in the world. The collection came to the National Institute of Biology in 1929. The institute manages this collection along with the UNAM Botanical Garden and the nearby National Biodiversity Museum.
This Herbarium collection began as part of the National Medical Institute in 1888. The national medicinal plants collection later came to be integrated into the UNAM as part of the Institute of Biology. The Institute is charged with managing the collection and with keeping it active by providing the infrastructure for its growth, preservation, and use by the scientific community.
The Herbario Nacional collection continues to grow as staff maintain an active exchange program with institutions around the world, and with active collecting still taking place in Mexico.
The National Herbarium contributes to scientific knowledge as a primary source of information on plant diversity in Mexico and other parts of the world. The National Biology Institutes also operates the Biological Institute Library in the same building as the Herbarium.
Hours: The collections can be consulted Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., dependent on the university calendar. That is, the library closes on holidays and when the UNAM is not on a regular schedule.
Access to the Algae, Bryophytes, Fungi, Lichens, Wood and Ethnobotany collections is attended by the curator of each collection. Prior permission is recommended.
Access to the Vascular Plants collections is assisted by staff who can attend to visitors. External users need to register at the reception desk, and obtain a badge to be worn within the facilities.