Pretoria National Herbarium (PRE) 

Private Bag X101, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa 
Telephone: +27 12  804 3200  Fax: +27 12  804 3211

Physical address
2 Cussonia Avenue, Brummeria, Pretoria.

Leaders in plant diversity

[Collections] [Plant ID Service] [Staff] [Visiting]


To research and document the diversity and relationships within the southern African flora, to disseminate information thereon for the benefit of humankind and thereby to be the world's leading centre of expertise on the southern African flora.


The National Herbarium forms part of the National Botanical Institute, an autonomous state-aided organization which was created in 1989 by the amalgamation of the former National Botanical Gardens and Botanical Research Institute.

Joseph Burtt Davy, the first Government Agronomist in the Transvaal Government, founded the Herbarium in 1903. His office was situated in the Volkstem Building in Pretorius Street, Pretoria.

Dr Illtyd Buller Pole Evans succeeded him in 1912, at which time the section moved to Vredehuis on the south western slope of Meintjieskop.

Dr Edwin Phillips was appointed as Curator of the Herbarium to succeed Pole Evans, who was promoted to the Directorship in 1918, the year the National Herbarium was named. Phillips' best known work, The genera of South African flowering plants, appeared in 1926.

The collection of the Pretoria National Herbarium has been extended by several valuable collections over the years, including that of E.E. Galpin and, in 1952, the herbarium of the Transvaal Museum (TRV). More recently the Saasveld Herbarium and the Forestry Herbarium (PRF) have been incorporated in PRE, currently making it by far the largest herbarium in Africa. The National Herbarium is situated in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden in a three-storey building erected in 1973.

Directors since World War II

Dr R.A Dyer 1944-1963
Dr L.E. Codd 1963-1973
Dr B. de Winter 1973-1989
Prof. J.N. Eloff 1990-1996
Prof. G.F. Smith 1996-the present

Visiting the National Herbarium

The National Herbarium is located in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden, in Cussonia Avenue, Brummeria. See map.

The herbarium is open Monday-Friday 08h00-16h30. It is closed on public holidays.

We strongly suggest that visitors who wish to use the collection to make a prior appointment, to ensure that the appropriate staff member will be available.. Please call for an appointment or email

[Collections] [Plant ID Service] [Staff]

Please address general herbarium correspondence to:

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