Bews Herbarium


The Bews Herbarium (NU) is located on the second floor of the John Bews B-block (room 201), Life Sciences section of the Pietermaritzburg campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). The facility was founded in 1910 and currently houses ca. 130 000 specimens, making it the largest herbarium collection in KwaZulu-Natal. The collection is primarily associated with research on the floras of the eastern seaboard of South Africa. The collection has been the focus of a number of research thrusts including flora of the DAR (Drakensberg Alpine Region), Streptocarpus (Gesneriaceae); Asteraceae, Poaceae, Cyperaceae and ferns. In addition, it is an important site for collections of South African Macroalgae.

This is a teaching and research herbarium, offering a plant identification service to members of the public and environmental consultants at nominal cost. Please contact the Senior Herbarium Technician for current identification rates.

Online Bews  Herbarium Collections

Exchange available

KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa.
Wanted: Any material from southern Africa.


Curator: Dr Benny Bytebier 
Senior Herbarium Technician: Ms Christina Potgieter
Herbarium Assistant: Ms Prudence Magwaza.

Important collections housed

K. Balkwill, M-J. Balkwill, L.R. Bauer, A.J.W. Bayer, F. Bayer, J.S. Beard, J.W. Bews, J.M. Browning, B.L. Burtt, N.C. Chase, D. Edwards, T.J. Edwards, B.S. Fisher, E.E. Galpin, J. Gerstner, K.D. Gordon-Gray, J.S. Henkel, O.M. Hillary (also collected as O.M. Hilliard), B.J. Huntley, K.D. Huntley (also collected as K.D. Gordon-Gray), D.J.B. Killick, E. Moll, E.S. Pooley, E.A. Robinson, J.H. Ross, E.A.C.L.E. Schelpe, H.G.W.J. Schweickert, T.R. Sim, C.H. Stirton, R.G. Strey, W.R. Trauseld, L.D.E.F. Vesey-Fitzgerald, C.J. Ward, J.M. Wood, F.B. Wright.
An historic medicinal plant collection by Fr. F. Mayr, as well as a medicinal plant collection by A.B. Cunningham, is housed in the NU collection together with voucher specimens from recent ethno-and economic botanical investigations.


African Plant Initiative (API)

Bews Herbarium is one of many international collaborators on this important project, which aims to set up a comprehensive on-line database of resources about African plants, in particular high-resolution scanned images of most of the Types of African plants. Bews Herbarium joined the project in 2005. API is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is administered by Aluka, a not-for-profit initiative involved with the creation of online scholarly resources from the developing world.

Contact details

Postal address
The Curator, Bews Herbarium, School of Biological & Conservation Sciences, P/Bag X01, Scottsville 3209, South Africa
Phone: +27 (0)33 2605146
Fax: +27 (0)33 2605105 (Att. Christina Potgieter)
CITES registration no. ZA 028

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