Global Plants Initiative

Project summary

The Global Plants Initiative project is a worldwide scientific database hosted by JSTOR

Through Global Plants, herbaria can share specimens, experts can determine and update naming structures, students can discover and learn about plants in context, and a record of plant life can be preserved for future generations.

As part of this global initiative, the National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL) has imaged all known Australian and globally collected vascular plant, bryophyte, fungi, lichen and algae type specimens within its collection. To date, more than  29,000 type specimens have been imaged as part of this project and  28,745 are now available on Global Plants on JSTOR.

Online access enables scientists to easily view and compare fragile and historically significant type specimens as well as contemporary type specimens. 

MEL type specimens accessible on Global Plants on JSTOR represent collections from many geographic regions including Africa, the Americas, Europe and, in particular, Oceania.

This project is auspiced by the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH).

Project team

  • Angharad Johnson (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Pina Milne (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Niels Klazenga (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Alison Vaughan (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria)
  • Rita Macheda (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, 2013–14)
  • Taryn Ellis (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 2011–13)
  • Erin May (Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 2011–12)


  • The W. Andrew Mellon Foundation
  • Atlas of Living Australia