The Fungarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, houses an estimated 1.25 million dried fungal specimens. It is one of the oldest and largest fungaria worldwide and the most comprehensive in terms of taxonomic and geographic coverage.
Funded by the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust, Kew’s Fungarium is currently digitising plant pathogenic fungal species that occur on the UK Plant Health Risk Register. These fungi pose a potential threat on the natural and cultivated flora of the UK. Knowledge on natural distribution and their host plants is limited and digitising the material in our fungarium will help to unlock information that has already been collected but is difficult to access.
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For some of these species our collection holds more material in mainly temperate regions outside the UK, amongst others from Northern America. Please help us capture collection label information from selected specimens from Northern America. If you are lucky, you may find the odd one from Latin America.
By helping us in this expedition, you will be transcribing specimen data from various groups of the fungal kingdom, as well as species that historically belonged to the fungal kingdom but aren’t fungi according to present classification. The largest amount of material is from Coleosporium solidaginis, the Goldenrod Rust. Rusts can live on different host plants depending on their life stage (see tutorial).
This expedition differs from those of our herbarium specimen expeditions and there are frequently numerous specimens on one sheet. One aim of this expedition, apart from digitising the label data, is to investigate possible obstacles in identifying each specimens collection information when provided with images of the whole sheet. In this expedition you may encounter up to a dozen specimens on one sheet. Please feel encouraged to share your thoughts, ideas and comments on this feature in the corresponding Project Forum Expedition Topic.
Image RBG Kew