In this project we will document the Adoxaceae, a small family which many people may not have heard of. Most Adoxaceae are shrubs, such as elder (Sambucus) and Viburnum, but some are small herbs, such as moschatel (Adoxa moschatellina). They all have small, often white flowers and opposite leaves. They are found all over the world, but mostly in the temperate northern hemisphere. In Belgium, the small spring flower moschatel and the autumn fruiting elderberry (Sambucus nigra) are native members of this family.
The Botanic Garden Meise holds the largest herbarium collection of Belgian plant specimens. Each of these herbarium specimens has a label with valuable information such as the plant’s identification, and when, where, and who collected the plant. These specimens can be used in many types of research, such as conservation, evolution, ecology and systematics. These data help us to understand the plants of Belgium, their history and that of people who collected them. There are about 200,000 specimens in the Belgian Herbarium of the Botanic Garden Meise and we want to document them all! These data will then be made available online at www.botanicalcollections.be.