• BAS Antarctic Plant Database



This database contains information on the herbarium specimens held in the herbarium of the British Antarctic Survey (international code AAS) as well as information about specimens collected in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic and held in other world herbaria. There are over 70 000 records, predominantly of mosses and lichens, but also of vascular plants, ferns, fungi and algae collected in Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions as well as some from surrounding continents, particularly South America.

See Metadata record.

Search criteria


Advice on filling in the form
You can fill in as many, or as few, of the boxes that are relevant to your query. Once you have filled in your search terms, click on the 'Get Data' button.
The species box
Use this if you want to know about what specimens there are of a particular species or taxa. You can truncate your entry at any point, so if you are interested in a whole genus just type in the genus name.
Geographical area box
If you are interested in the specimens found in a defined geographic area or island group, then select the relevant one from this list.
Keyword box
This lets you restrict your query by anything that may be in the habitat and locality field of the Antarctic Plant Database. So if you are interested in the specimens from a particular locality then type in the place name here. Or, if you are interested in, say, lichens growing on mosses you could type
'On moss' in this box.
The Collection and Collection number boxes
Use these if you want to retrieve information on an individual specimen. Collection names can be truncated at any point. Collection numbers must have 5 digits so use zeros at the front of the number if necessary.
The Plant group box
Use this if you want to restrict your query to a particular plant/organism group e.g. to retrieve only moss or lichen specimens.
The default is any plant group.
Complete species determinations only
If you are not searching by a species name you can choose whether to retrieve only specimens which have been determined to the species level, or to also retrieve incomplete and descriptive determinations, such as 'Cladonia sp' or 'black crustose lichen'. The default is specimens determined to the species level.
The results are automatically sorted by species, collection and collection number. You also sort by any of the underlined columns by clicking on the column heading. To download the results to a spreadsheet click on the 'Download to spreadsheet' button at the bottom of the search criteria box - this will download all records matching your query, not just those shown on the current page (up to a maximum of 2000 records).
You can alter the number of results that are shown on each page by changing the value in the row selector.
Up to three distribution maps will be shown - an Antarctic focused map, a world map and a South Georgia map. These will show the distribution of the specimen records for a chosen species or genus, the specimen records within a geographical area or the specimen records for a chosen collection. Click on a point to see detail of the specimen. They do not currently filter at the level of collection number or if a value in the keyword field is chosen.