The National Herbarium was initially started by the Department of Forests and Parks Services in conjunction with the Flora of Bhutan Project in the mid 1970s. In 1987 the herbarium was moved to Taba and housed with the forest research library under the Forest Research Division. With the establishment of National Biodiversity Centre in 1999, the herbarium was moved to the present location at Serbithang. The new herbarium building at Serbithang was completed in 2002, with funding support from DANIDA. Currently, the herbarium houses more than 10,000 collections of Angiosperms, Gymnosperms, Pteridophytes and Byrophytes.
The primary functions of the National Herbarium are to :
- Serve as the national botanical repository and reference centre.
- Strengthen botanical knowledge base through exploration, collection and documentation of floristic diversity in the country.
- Provide plant taxonomic facilities, trainings and services for proper identification and floristic research at national and international level.
- Coordinate plant taxonomy related studies and identify conservation priority species in the country.
- Promote regional and international linkages for collaborative work in the field of botany and taxonomy.