The following blog was written by Becky Camfield a digitiser in the Herbarium.

Since 2021 we have increased our digitisation capacity with the goal of getting to 1 million specimens imaged by Autumn 2024. Each digitiser is assigned a family of plants to work through. This series of blogs will spotlight the families that have been completed by a member of the team.

The Plantain family is very diverse worldwide family of approximately 100 genera found mostly in the Northern hemisphere and temperate growing zones. The family contains many loved garden plants such as Digitalis (foxgloves), Antirrhinum (snapdragons), Hebe, Penstemon, Russelia and Veronica.

Our collections at Edinburgh

Prior to the complete digitsation of the Plantaginaceae we had a record for 4,114 specimens. After the complete digitisation of the family we now have records for 24,419 specimens. We currently hold 262 type specimens for taxa in the Plantaginaceae.

Specimens of Plantaginaceae can be searched on our online catalogue here.

Top 5 regions

No. of SpecimensHerbarium Filing Region
3,564West Asia & Egypt
3,540Britain & Ireland
2,582North America
1,090India Pakistan & Bangladesh

Given how well this family is well represented from Europe and North America,, it seems likely that our collections from Eastern Russia and Asia are under representing this family.

Top 5 Genera

No. of SpecimensGenus

Interesting specimens

During digitisation there were several specimens of Plantago collections from the John Hutton Institue. They represent a study to bring wild genes into cultivated plants.

Herbarium specimen of Plantago maritima L.
Herbarium specimen of Plantago maritima L. E01040397