Palaeobotanical Collection

Updated: 03.09.2021

The Palaeobotanical Collection preserves thousands of plant fossils documenting prehistoric floras and plant life.

The majority of our collection consists of plant fossils found in the Tertiary rocks of the Carpathian Basin.  Our material is also rich in Jurassic floras of the Mecsek Mts. and Transylvania, and we retain specimens collected from various sites of the world from the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras as well. The oldest fossils are the first terrestrial plants originated from the Devonian of the Czech Republic. We have some rare specimens from Australia, representing the so-called Glossopteris flora of the Permo-Carboniferous sediments from the ancient continent Gondwana.

Fossils from the Carboniferous of Transylvania, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany belong to the most noteworthy specimens of the collection. 

In addition, we preserve the Cretaceous plant fossils of the dinosaur archeological site of Iharkút (Hungary) and the youngest Pleistocene subfossil specimens.
A precious part of the collection is the original and type material of the palaeobotanical monographs published in Europe during the 19th century. 

Senior Curator:  Boglárka Erdei
Curators: Mária Barbacka,
Preparator: Éva Budai 

Collection size
Total number of specimens: ca. 50,000 
Number of taxa: ca. 3,000
Number of types: 3,500
Library holdings: XXX volumes catalogued by the Central Library

Remarkable collections
Josef Franz Maximilian Lobkovitz collection including specimens of the original and type material of several well-known monographs published during the 19th century in Europe.
Collection of Gyula Kováts from the 19th century
Collection of Gábor Andreánszky
Primarly it contains fossil plants of the Sarmatian (late middle Miocene) and Oligocene of Hungary including a significant part of the original and type materials published by Andreánszky.

The catalogue of Palaeobotanical Collection is managed in a digital database. Specimens of the collection are also available for search in printed catalogue as well, according to taxonomy and locality information.
The type and original specimens are listed in the following publications:
HABLY L. & SZAKÁLY M. 1989: The Catalogue of Leaf Fossil types preserved in Hungary. – Studia biologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 22: 1–252.
HABLY L., ERDEI B. & KVAČEK Z. 2001: 19th century’s Palaeobotanical Types and Originals of the Hungarian Natural History Museum. – Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, 235 pp.

The collection is open for visitors by appointment only.
Most collection materials are available for loan and scientific examination for external researchers.
To discuss any of your requests, please contact our senior curator:

Research loans
Loan policy statement (PDF)
Loan agreement (DOC)

On-site examination
Terms and Conditions (PDF)
Research permit form (DOC)