Herbarium of Vascular Plants (SOM)

The Herbarium was founded by Acad. Ivan Bouresh at the Natural History Museum of the Royal Natuiral History Institutes.It was based on the herbarium collections of A. Drenovski, A. Yavashov, A. Toshev, B. Davidov, B. Ahtarov, V. Stribrny, I. Kovacev, I. Mrkvicka, I. Nejcev, I, Urumov, J. Velenovsky, S. Baev, etc., mostly compiled in the 1900-1930 period. The Herbarium then included some 50 000 - 60 000 specimens. In next periods of stepping up of intensive floristic research, biosystematic and cytotaxonomic studies, and the progress of the multivolume edition of Flora of the R Bulgaria the Herbarium specimens increased in number, amounting now to almost 160 000 specimens, the most of them from Bulgaria, but also from South and S E Europe. SOM keeps a Type Collection of taxa described from the Bulgarian flora, a cytotaxonomic and chemotaxonomic voucher collections.

The bryological collection at the Herbarium of the Institute of Botany (SOM) is the only such collection in Bulgaria and one of the few in the Balkan countries, which is actively maintained and continuously enlarged. At present it contains ca. 15 530 specimens. Of them 9 200 specimens represent the Bulgarian bryophyte flora, and ca. 6 330 specimens from outside Bulgaria (Europe, North and South America, Antarctic).

The first Bulgarian specimens were deposited by Acad. Prof. Stefan Petkov in 1905. The collection was enlarged with the materials of Prof. Nikola Arnaudov at the beginning of the 20th century and later on as a result of the active scientific work of Dr. Slavcho Petrov.

The bryophyte collection at SOM also contains foreign bryophyte specimens from the end of the 19th century identified by the famous bryologists S. O. Lindberg, J. Breidler, C. Jensen, and K. G. Limpricht. Of interest are the specimens from the herbarium of Dr. C. Baenitz, and the hepatic collection from V. F. Schiffner’s herbarium that comprise 1465 specimens. A separate collection consists of Albanian specimens collected by Dr. Sl. Petrov in 1958.

The enlargement of the bryological collection at SOM is a continuous process. More than 400 specimens from Bulgaria are deposited annually.

Curator of the collection is Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anna Ganeva.

More information about the bryological working group in Bulgaria may be found at http://www.bryology-bg.hit.bg/