A virtual herbarium of the specimens preserved in the Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Kerala, India has been created. Herbarium specimens were digitized using an image station and a website was developed using open-source software like Apache, MySQL and PHP.
The database provides a total of 5718 records representing 203 plant families. The predominant families with maximum records represented are Arecaceae (1167 records), Poaceae (381), Orchidaceae (347), Fabaceae (270), Euphorbiaceae (239) and Rubiaceae (217). Details such as collection number, name of collector, date of collection, collection location, brief description of the habitat, phenology, besides the binomial as recorded on the herbarium specimen label are further computed and shown along with digitized specimens for each species on the species page.
The ‘digital herbarium’ is rendered accessible at http://kfriherbarium.org/. The data presented are informative, user-friendly and easily accessible. The initiative is a gesture of sharing information on plant diversity of Kerala that was gathered by several researchers who have also contributed to building the herbarium.