Covering an area of 21.20 hectares (52.4 acres) the Munich Botanical Garden in the borough of Nymphenburg is one of the most important botanical gardens of the world and is visited by over 400,000 visitors every year. It is home of approximately 14,000 plants.
The Botanische Staatssammlung as Natural History Collection is a scientific archive as well as a public center for national and international scientists and private visitors, offering expert advice and identification services for special groups of plants and fungi. It supplies facilities with information on different aspects of plant and fungal biodiversity. Research focuses on exploration and study of European, South-East Asian and South American flowering plants as well as of fungi, lichens and algae including taxonomic revisions, floristic projects, molecular aspects of phylogeny and biodiversity informatics. The Botanische Staatssammlung is active in the international network of herbaria with several exchange projects of plant and fungal material. It supports biodiversity research by making available the archives. The herbarium is also a source of material for molecular and chemical screening programs. More than 15,000 specimens are sent on loan worldwide each year.
The herbarium of the Botanische Staatssammlung München (herbarium acronym: M) comprises about 3 million dried specimens of plants and fungi and is systematically arranged. Associated are collections of pickled flowers, microscope slide collections, illustrations of plants and fungi, and dried fruits and seeds. The collections are worldwide in scope, but with particular strengths in the flora of Bavaria and the Alps, the vascular plants of Brazil, Chile, Middle Asia and parts of Africa, as well as in lichens and fungi. The herbarium grows at an average rate of 16,000 specimens a year and is estimated to house about 25% of the known species of the world.
Systematics is a basic biological discipline that investigates and describes the biodiversity on our planet. The science conducted at the Bavarian State Collection involves research on the taxonomy, phylogeny, and natural history of animals, and provides an adequate and sustainable depository for zoological specimens.