The herbarium, consisting of about 20'000 orchid specimens, was collected
and meticulously curated throughout the lifetime of Dr. Jany Renz, starting in
the early 1920's, and continuing intensively during the 1970's after his
retirement and up until his death in 1999.
Renz is a well-known and respected name in the field of European orchids,
with many Ophrys and Orchis
species and taxa named and described by him for the first time. The collections
therefore include many "type" specimens: these are specimens from
which the original description was taken, and to which the name is forever
linked. They are vital reference material for anyone researching these genera.
The collections are particularly rich in terrestrial orchids,
in particular from South America (Venezuela, Colombia), the Middle East and
and they offer a resource and reference collection which could not now
be amassed. They are an unique record of the distributions and ecology
of European orchids during the 20th century. The collections also extend
to many tropical countries, particularly South America, and are especially
rich in the very widely distributed genus Habenaria, a genus which
Renz was actively researching and had published several regional revisions.
The collections include a very broad range of other tropical and epiphytic
species as well, including several as yet undescribed species which had
been indicated by Renz.
To get you started browsing the herbarium, we have assembled some of the
most beautiful specimens in the Herbarium Showcase.