The Blatter Herbarium

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The Blatter Herbarium is an internationally recognized herbarium for Taxonomic studies and allied branches in Botany. It was established in 1906 in St. Xavier's College, Bombay,  by the Jesuit Priest - Rev. Fr. E. Blatter. In 1941, it was renamed, "The Blatter Herbarium" by Rev. Fr. H. Santapau, who served as its director for many years. Fr. Santapau later became the Director of the Botanical Survey of India at Calcutta. He was awarded the `Padmashri' by the Government of India and the `Birbal Sahani Medal' by the Indian Botanical Society in 1964 for his services to Indian botany. BLAT is  listed in the Index Herbariorum published from KEW - Royal Botanic Gardens.

 

Research Projects:

Dr. Rajendra Shinde

2009-12         Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Commission, Govt. of Maharashtra, Digitized Inventory of Medicinal Plant Resources – Thane, Mumbai and Raigad District, Maharashtra. Rs. 24,000,00/-

2005-07          University Grant Commission – Minor Research Project Grant Rs.55,000/- For the Project on Molecular Characterization of Morinda citrifolia, Rubiaceae.

2008-09          University of Mumbai – College Teachers Research Grant Rs. 30,000/- Use of GPS technology for Cartographic studies of Ambarnath MIDC vegetation.

2005-06           University of Mumbai – College Teachers Research Grant Rs. 20,000/- To Develop the database of the plants used against Tuberculosis.

2002-2003:     University of Mumbai – College Teachers Research Grant Rs 35,000/–        “ISOLOATION OF THE GENOMIC DNA FROM THE HERBARIUM PLANT SAMPLES:  A preparatory project for future Molecular Systematic work.

Ph.D. Awarded :  Jan 2011 – Mr. Balkrishna G. Gavade – Thesis  entitled as ““Taxonomic Studies on Flora and Vegetation of Vengurla, Taluka Sidhudurga”. – Under the guidance of Dr. Rajendra Shinde

Collections:

 

BLAT is the only herbarium in India which holds collections of Algae, Fungi, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms and Flowering plants. The flowering plant collections range from the year 1816 onwards, and over 2,00,000 plant specimens including Grasses, Sedges, Orchids, and  other Flowering plants collected  from various parts of India such as Kashmir, Himalayas, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan, Rajasthan, Konkan, Western Ghats, Khandala, Mahableshwar, Poona, Ratnagiri, Savantwadi, Goa, Nasik, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Lucknow and Bombay are housed in this Herbarium. Besides these, specimens from Sind, Arabia, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, other European countries, and Japan, obtained on exchange basis, add to the bulk of the Herbarium. In addition to  these collections, more than 200 Type materials of the plants discovered as new species are maintained in this herbarium. All these form reference materials for research and other studies.

 

Facilities in the Herbarium:

 

Attached to the Herbarium, there is a library containing literature on Taxonomy and related subjects, dating from the 16th century - "Coloquios dos Simples e drogas he da India" by Garcia D'Orta, the first book printed in India (1563), The Hortus Malabaricus by Van Rheede (1678) - to the 20th century, and a number of International Journals such as Taxon, Kew Bulletin, Candollea, and Indian Journals such as Indian Forester, Bulletin of Botanical Survey of India and Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society.

Collections of wood samples, seeds, fruits, and other natural products from plants having medicinal properties are preserved in a museum attached to the Herbarium. The museum also holds pickled specimens of Algae, Fungi, and Lichens.

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Usage of Herbarium:

The Blatter Herbarium is constantly used by various categories of people, such as Scientists, Naturalists, Environmentalists, Pharmacists, Medical doctors, Journalists, Teachers, Tourist-guides and students of various subjects from schools and colleges from India and abroad for their studies and research.

People from various organizations such as Forestry, Educational Institutions, Natural History, Oceanography, and Pharmaceuticals consult the staff of the Blatter Herbarium for guidance and assistance pertaining to the identification of plants, and plant products, and the distribution and availability of plants in various localities, uses of plants, and other related matters.

Achievements of the Herbarium :

About 300 scientific articles and a number of scientific books such as The Flora of Aden, Arabia; Beautiful Flowers of Kashmir; The Bombay Grasses; Palms of Asia; Orchids of Bombay; Medicinal and Poisonous  plants of India; Flora of Khandala; Acanthaceae of Bombay, and Trees of Bombay  are some of the contributions of Rev. Fr. E. Blatter and Rev. Fr. H. Santapau, the pioneer scholars in Taxonomy of this institution.

More than 50 people have received their M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from this institution.  Some  of the eminent scholars such as:

  • J.K. Maheshwari (Flora of Delhi)

  • Fr. C. Saldanha (Flora of Hassan District, Karnataka)

  • Rev.Fr. L.M. Cramer (The Flora of Ceylon)

  • Dr. S.K. Jain,  Ex-Director, Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta

  • Dr. T.N. Khoshoo, Ex-Secretary, the Department of Environment, New Delhi,

  • Prof. G.L. Shah (Flora of Gujarat)

  • Dr. A.R. Daruwalla (Gamopetalous Flora of National Park, Borivli, and Monograph on the genus Blumea)

  • M.R. Almeida (Pteridophytes of Maharashtra and Flora of Mahableshwar)

  • Dr. S.M. Almeida, `The Flora of Savantwadi - the sector of Western Ghats' in 1990,

The Department has undertaken a number of projects at the national level of which some of the latest projects are :-

  1. Survey of Medicinally and Economically Important plants of  Western Maharashtra.

  2. Flora of Ratnagiri District.

  3. Ethnobiological studies on Tribals of Goa.

  4. Trees of Bombay.

 

Additional information