SpecimensBotanic Garden Meise
The birch family in Belgium
In this project we will document the Betulaceae. These are woody trees and shrubs, mostly from the temperate northern hemisphere. In Belgium native examples include hazel (Corylus) and birch (Betula). The male and female flowers are either separate on the same plant or on separate male or female plants. They are wind pollinated and have rather inconspicuous female flowers, whereas the male flowers are catkins. Their seeds are an important food source for wildlife during the winter and humans have used their wood for centuries.
The Belgian Herbarium
The Botanic Garden Meise holds the largest herbarium collection of Belgian plant specimens. Each of these herbarium specimens has a label with valuable information such as the plant’s identification, and when, where, and who collected the plant. These specimens can be used in many domains of research, such as conservation, evolution, ecology and systematics. These data help us to better understand the plants of Belgium, their history and that of people who collected them. There are about 200,000 specimens in the Belgian Herbarium of the Botanic Garden Meise and we want to document them all! These data will then be made available online at www.botanicalcollections.be.
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