The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium was established in 1882 and has acquired National Monument status. It is a centre for the study of the indigenous plants of the eastern region of South Africa. This region includes three of the IUCN internationally recognized centres of plant diversity. The main focus of the work is on the herbarium collection, which consists of five key areas: plant information services, systematic research, documentation of the flora, computerized storage of the collection, student training and promoting botany in the community. The Ethnobotany Unit, managed by Prof. Neil Crouch is based at the Herbarium.

The KwaZulu-Natal Herbarium had a good jump start in 1882, its founder John Medley Wood arranged for the storage of more than one thousand five hundred specimens to the collection. Back then Wood was the Curator of the Durban Botanic Gardens which had been already been opened since 1849. He regarded the herbarium as a necessity that would make the establishment an authentic botanic garden. Supported by the governor of the colony, Sir Henry Bulwer a keen and common interest in the garden and the herbarium specimens was shared. The Colonial Government gained the responsibility of the herbarium specimens, and under the Curatorship of Wood, the Colonial Herbarium was born. After thirty three years of under Wood, he built up the collection of specimens and the library. Of the thirteen thousand specimens prepared by Wood, only about six thousand specimens remain in the collection today.

Due to lack of funds the Durban Agricultural and Horticultural Society, who owned the garden, collapsed, and in 1913 most of the garden was handed over to the Durban Municipality. About five thousand square meters, which included the Herbarium and Medley Wood's house was excluded at that time and given to the Union Department of Agriculture, the next year. When Medley Wood died in 1915, the main focus for almost the next fifty years shifted to plant The early 1960's saw the departure of the last pathologists, and the herbarium's systematic studies of the KwaZulu-Natal flora took a new lease on life. A few years later ecological studies were added to the Unit.

The collections are housed in an Edwardian building which was built in 1902, in what once formed part of Durban Botanical Garden . The Herbarium and Medley Wood House, have both been declared Heritage buildings. Many of the cabinets at the herbarium are made of Kiaat ( Pterocarpus angolensis ) to a design dated 1955, and there are also a few of Medley Wood's original Victorian cabinets, as well as some modern steel ones of various designs. Specimens are arranged according to the Engler system as employed in the List of Southern African Plants generated by PRECIS. There are about one hundred and twenty thousand specimens, mainly from KZN , but also from surrounding areas.

Accommodation Near The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

Sleeps: 6
From R 650,00
Per unit, per night.

10th Avenue

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

0.2km North of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

This is a newly-decorated 3 bedroomed, 2 bathroomed simplex in Durban's fashionable Morningside, within a few minutes' walk from Greyville Racecourse, shops and restaurants, and within a few minutes' drive of all Durban's amenities

From R 550,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Acorn Bed & Breakfast in Durban

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Berea, Durban

0.5km West of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

Acorn Bed & Breakfast in Durban, an oasis of graciousness and tranquility in Durban's exclusive Berea, has every modern convenience, yet retains the old-worlde impeccable service and style of yester-year.

4 Isabella Gardens

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

0.5km North East of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

4 Isabella Gardens is a lovely 3 bedroom (6 sleeper) duplex in 7th Avenue, Morningside, Durban. It is within walking distance to Greyville Racecourse, Avondale Spar, Argyle Road Spur, Florida Road with all its pubs and restaurants.

Essenwood House

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Berea, Durban

0.9km North West of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

Essenwood House is an Edwardian home fully modernised, secure in it's own grounds with ample on site parking. Seven air-conditioned en suite bedrooms, four with own verandas and three with private entrance.

From R 550,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Bon Ami On Ninth

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

1.0km North of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

We offer upmarket, Hotel Style Accommodation featuring 15 en-suite bedrooms with the Housekeeper and Night Guard on site to see to all your requirements. Our aim is to exceed your expectations, providing the very best hospitality in colonial style...

Sleeps: 2
From R 800,00
Per unit, per night.

Madeline Garden Apartment

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

1.0km North East of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

Madeline Garden Apartment lies in the hub of Durban's sub-urban street life (one street away from Florida road and Lilian Ngoyi (formerly 'Windermere') road.

Botany Bay Lodge

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Berea, Durban

1.0km South of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

Our lodge has en-suite bedrooms with tv's fans and air conditioners for those balmy Durban evenings. We also offer safe off-street parking, pool bar, laundry / maid service and a fully fitted communal kitchen for your self catering requirments...

Mabhida View

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

1.1km North East of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

This cozy open plan apartment with lovely views is conveniently situated above a shopping mall in Morningside where one can conveniently pop downstairs to Woolworths Food, Checkers, Wimpy, Restaurants, bottle store and many more shops.

From R 445,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Mythai Guesthouse

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

1.2km North of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

All rooms are extremely comfortable and have a private feel they are all en-suite, with DStv, air-conditioning and all rates include a full English breakfast. We have 8 rooms all en-suite. We have a cook school/conference venue/private restaurant ...

From R 700,00
Per person, per night sharing.

The Neuk Guest House

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

1.2km North of The KwaZulu Natal Herbarium

A gracious Cape-Dutch styled home nestled in the cosmopolitan suburb of Morningside, Durban. The Neuk Guest House is conveniently situated for both the discerning businessman and tourist. The rooms are beautifully decorated and have their own ...