Here you can help to database the specimens of the largest biological collection in Portugal.
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São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) is one of the most interesting biodiversity hotspots in the Gulf of Guinea, with a large percentage of endemisms.
The Herbarium of the University of Coimbra has one of the main flora collections from the archipelago since the 19th century, many of which were the very first specimens collected of their species. This important collection contains precious information on the rich plant diversity of São Tomé and Príncipe, that will be made public for the first time with this transcription project.
Photo: "Ikabanga - 1088 - São Tomé and Príncipe" - Thecacoris manniana (Müll.Arg.) Müll.Arg. Collected in Sao Tome and Principe by Lewis Eduardo (licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)
This project contains several specimens that, over the years of databasing the herbarium, for some reason, have not been completely transcribed.
Photo by Filipe Covelo
Family of major economic importance not only for its fruits but also for its ornamentals. Well-known edible fruits are very variable being drups (fleshy with a stone) as in apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, plums, prune, almond; pomes as in apple, quince, pear, loquat; aggregates (with free carpels) as in blackberry, raspberry, strawberry. The beautiful tree Prunus lusitanica is widely planted as a hedge as are Spiraea, Cotoneaster, Pyracantha, Crataegus and some others. Rosa is the best-known ornamental species and there are many thousand hybrids and cultivars. Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, a mixture of essential oils obtained by steam distilling the crushed petals.
These specimens belong to the family Brassicaceae, also known as Cruciferae, a botanical family that includes cabbages and Arabidopsis thaliana, one of the most used species in genetic studies worldwide.
Can you help us to find out the missing information about these specimens?
Every record lacks some information, and in many cases, you must be a real detective to find out from the few clues the specimens contain!
In the Atlantic, there are traces of an ancestral flora from a period when the planet was warmer. This flora, named Laurissilva (Laurel forest), is found in the archipelagos of the Azores, Madeira, the Canaries, and even Cape Verde. The largest collection of the Azorean flora is at the Herbarium of the University of Coimbra.
Guinea-Bissau is a small tropical country (2.5 times smaller than Portugal) more than 20% of its territory being occupied by water. Mangroves thrive along the coast and river banks. There are also areas of rice paddies, sub-humid and dry forests, and inland savannas. Here, grasses play an important role. Those grasses that develop in the salty areas, with soil saturated with salt, where few species can survive, are also of major ecological importance.
The mint family includes aromatic plants widely used since ancient times. Many are used in the kitchen, others are ornamentals, and some are used in cosmetics and as medicines, the most common being basil, hyssop, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme. The sweet aromatic smell is due to essential oils in glandular hairs present in most parts of the plant, but mainly the leaves.
Moritz Willkomm (1821-1895) built a very important plant collection of c. 31.000 specimens, for a long time at the Herbarium of the University of Coimbra.
Most of the specimens have been databased.
We ask for your collaboration to finalise the project.
More than 60 plant families have succulents. But some of those are dominantly succulent, such as the Crassulaceae (lat. crassus = thick, fat) with thick, fleshy stems and leaves due to special water-storage tissues.