The Herbarium was formerly a research facility in the Department of Biology, CUHK since 1968. It was renamed as the Shiu-Ying Hu Herbarium in 2013 for the extension of the legacy of the late Prof. Hu’s contribution in plant taxonomy. The herbarium collection contains about 38,000 plant specimens, mostly collected and authenticated by Professor Hu, and an archive of botanical references and information. Hence the herbarium is a major asset to the School of Life Sciences and CUHK.
As a platform for botanical research and education, the herbarium is dedicated to the work of documenting plant biodiversity and first-hand botanical information. Researches to be carried out include the documentation of and research on the flora, vegetation and economic plants in Hong Kong and mainland China, the authentication of medicinal plants and the digitization of the existing collection. On the educational and community fronts, the Herbarium aims to create and maintain educational and informational websites, develop software applications for the identification of plants and their uses, and offer general education programs to local schools and the general public. In addition, public engagement activities such as the Friends of the Shiu-Ying Hu Herbarium, and a rich array of activities including seminars, excursion and volunteer programs would be organized.
All in all, the Herbarium team will continue Prof. Hu’s efforts in documenting plant biodiversity of Hong Kong in terms of specimen collection, botanical imaging, GIS database, DNA tissue preservation and multiple-characteristics archive. We would also explore every opportunity to research and apply them in education, research and development in Hong Kong.