The project has a herbarium consisting of a collection of dried leaves of forest trees and shrubs, carefully mounted in acid-free paper folders and housed in a wooden cabinet. Each specimen has been identified and is labelled.

The collection is for the use of visiting botanists and others interested in identifying the flora of the Budongo Forest.

Storage of samples

The entire herbarium is sited in the main room on the right hand side of House 1. The leaf specimens are arranged in families and numerically under our system, going from Selaginellaceae (No. 2) in the top left drawer to Hamalidaceae (No. 123) at the bottom right hand drawer. A drawn plan of the storage arrangement is included with the herbarium contents list kept at Budongo.

Specimens must be treated with due care, replaced after use, and may not be removed from BCFS.

Arrangement of herbarium data

Specimens were grouped according to Family and within each Family, the specimens were arranged under their genus and species alphabetically. Every specimen in the collection was checked as to whether it was listed in the following botanical guides for Budongo Forest:

Axel Dahlberg Poulsen (1997), Plant Diversity in Forests of Western Uganda and Eastern Zaire (Preliminary Results). AAU Reports 36.

T.J.Synott (1985), A Checklist of the Flora of Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda, with notes on ecology and phenology. C.F.I. Occasional Papers No. 27.

Budongo Forest Reserve Biodiversity Report (Report No. 3), 1996

Each specimen is listed as to whether it came from a tree (T), shrub (S), herb (H) or climber (C), whether a specimen or seed is present in the herbarium and finally whether or not the specimen was donated to the collection from the Poulsen General Uganda Collection. For some species an alternative Latin name was also given to aid identification and where this was the case, it was listed in the 'other notes' column. A print-out of the computer list is kept either in the project office or in the herbarium chest itself.

The computer list has been compiled in a number of ways:


- list of all specimens by family held in the herbarium at Budongo cross referenced with lists compiled by Poulsen, Synott and the Forest Department Report on N15 , Budongo Forest Reserve and surrounding area

FAMILIES - Alphabetical list of families with the code number taken from Synott.

GENERA - Alphabetical list of the different genera of all the species listed in 'All Species'.

SEED BUT NO SPECIMEN - Alphabetical list of species for which there is a seed but no specimen available in the herbarium.

NO SEED OR SPECIMEN - Alphabetical list of species for which there is no seed or specimen in the herbarium.

SEED AND SPECIMEN - Alphabetical list of species where both seed and specimen are present in the herbarium.

LAYOUT OF HERBARIUM - Plan of drawer contents.

> Click here to view a list of our Herbarium plant specimens


- Alphabetical list of food species known to be eaten by the Sonso chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, compiled from field assistant data.

> Click here to view the chimpanzee food list

Development of herbarium and future work

There remain some specimens to be identified. A volunteer botanist would be welcome!

Integrated into the herbarium catalogue is a indication of the quality of each specimen. Those in poor condition need to be replaced and stored so as to prevent a repeat occurrence of decay, if possible. Many of the species for which there are poor specimens are widespread throughout the surrounding forest. May & van Riel instigated training for the field assistants to address the continued need to maintain specimens.

There are a minority of species listed for which there is no leaf or seed sample. It is important that specimens should be obtained especially since these species are known to occur and/or have been cited in Budongo Forest Project work.

As far as the seed samples are concerned these await a permanent storage site.

Finally, the herbarium could be greatly expanded in general for the Budongo Forest. Of interest, one of the Orchidaceae species specimens donated to the herbarium by Axel Poulsen, Nervilia subintegra, he noted as new for East Africa in the list sent with the specimens - are there more such findings to be made?

History Of Budongo

The BCFS was founded by Dr Vernon Reynolds in 1990. At that time it was called the Budongo Forest Project.

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Where is Budongo

The Budongo Forest is a moist, semi-deciduous tropical rain forest located at the top of the Albertine Rift in Uganda.

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Get in Touch

Get in touch with us by clicking on the link below.

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