The documentation of these specimens includes as accurate information as possible about the date and place of harvest, the collector and the determination. In addition, plant samples with leaves, flowers or fruit can be compared in any season to match their theoretical description in order to validate their identification.
The herbarium is a scientific tool of great importance. When a new species is described, specimens of this plant, the types, are deposited in a herbarium and serve as reference for the identification of this species. Comparison with herbarium specimens or types allows to confirm the identification of a plant.
A herbarium is essentially a concrete witness of the occurrence of a plant species in a particular place at a specific time. In view of the profound changes, natural or man-made, that the vegetation cover of our planet has suffered and will suffer further, the herbaria constitute a scientific and cultural heritage of the utmost importance.
Many species of plants placed in a herbarium in the nineteenth and twentieth century have disappeared from our flora and/or have been replaced by others. Thus, herbaria are the most important part of the vegetable memory of people. Each specimen has a heuristic value and intrinsic heritage and can not be replaced.
The MnhnL herbarium is stored in two geographically separate premises. Part of the collection is housed at the Annexe scientifique in Grund, another in an industrial hall in Kehlen. Unfortunately, given the physical constraints the herbarium is not open to the public. Loans may be obtained by submitting a written request to the curator.