The basic objective of the Botany unit is the study of Costa Rica’s floristic diversity. This unit began formal operations in 1993, with the foundation and legal registration of the National Biodiversity Institute’s Herbarium (INB), and since then it has been carrying out a systematic study of the country’s different biotic units, mainly in little explored or unknown areas.

Currently, more than 85% of the total flora (9,300 species) is represented in the herbarium and for some groups - for example, Bromeliads - the national collections are the best in the world. There is also a collection of type specimen photographs and other historic collections.

The Botany unit has worked hard on the implementation of the Manual of Costa Rican Plants, a project executed jointly with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the National Museum of Costa Rica, and a group of international specialists from different institutions. The project contemplates a total of six volumes, and the first two were published recently. Similarly, this unit has promoted the dissemination of knowledge generated by the inventory process, and to this end has published more than 60 articles describing new species and new reports as well as monographs, systematic reviews and various field guides.

The exchange of literature and specimens for the identification of material is promoted through the signing of cooperation agreements with different institutions. Also, the unit supports ongoing visits by different specialists, masters and doctorate students, and other groups. The curators have participated in different floristic projects in other countries, as consultants or specialists on certain plant groups.


To contact the Botany unit:

Nelson Zamora, coordinator.
Phone: (506) 2507-8237

Armando Soto, collection´s curator de colecciones.
Phone: (506) 2507-8234

Photo: Barry Hammel, INBio

Photo: Barry Hammel, INBio


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