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Swiss Orchid Foundation
at the Herbarium Jany Renz

Dr. Christoph Noelpp
St. Jakobs-Strasse 30
4002 Basel

© 2015 Swiss Orchid Foundation

Botanical Institute
University of Basel

Search help

This engine searches the database of the Jany Renz Orchid Herbarium, which is maintained by the Swiss Orchid Foundation at the University of Basel, Switzerland.

The main aim of this database is to allow the collections to be browsed and searched by researchers and the public. The database holds limited information from the collection labels, and images displayed at approximately life size, which allows detailed examination of the plant itself. The labels can be read, but details of the collection locality have been removed. Detailed habitat descriptions and other informations are still readable. Higher quality images with complete labels are available on request. Also, the specimens themselves can be studied at the Botanical Institute of the University of Basel on request. Please contact the Swiss Orchid Foundation.

Individual searchable fields include the Renz herbarium number (unique to each specimen and usually the same as the collection number), the collector, collection, date, country, location (broadly defined), genus, species and notes.

Simple search

The simple search searches the entered criteria in all fields of the database. The search takes a little bit longer since all fields (also the detailed notes) are being browsed. However, the big advantage of this search is that also synonyms and references to other names are found.

Advanced search

The advanced search offers the possibility to directly look up the information of specific fields. And that's how it works: 


  • Only specimens that exactly match all entries will be displayed.
  • You have the possibility to search for several genera and species in different countries at the same time by separating your search criteria by semicolon.


Genus (scientific): Anacamptis; Orchis

Species: pyramidalis; anatolica

Country: Iran

This will just show the Anacamptis pyramidalis and Orchis anatolica that have been collected in Iran.

  • Note that entries separated by semicolons will be interpreted as a logical "OR" operator.

Bulbophyllum; Pleurothallis will search for BOTH Bulbophyllum AND Pleurothallis

  • An empty field will not be considered as an entry in the search.
  • Clicking the buttons "..." on the right-hand side will open a separate menu where all entries of the selected criterium of the database are shown. Click on the entries to select them.
  • Wildcards: use an asterisk (*) for any sequence of characters and a question mark (?) for any single character. If no wildcard is used, only exact matches will be displayed.

Aceras can be displayed by entering Ace* or Ace???.

  • If searching a "notes" field you should always enclose keywords with "*".

Search for *photogra* to get all photographs.

  • The search is not case sensitive.
  • All autocomplete boxes will only contain those values that are compatible with the other search entries.  

Genus (scientific): Pleurothallis

Only species of Pleurothallis will be shown in the autocomplete box.

Search with "More Options"

  • Here you can search nearly all fields available. It just takes a little more time to create the advanced search form.
  • Use "=" or "≠" to specify your search criteria or to exclude criteria from your search.
  • In the fields "Type" you can choose "any Type" to get all specimens that are a type or "not Type" for all others. The same goes for "Rank".

Search with "Show Select Boxes"

  • On the left side of the search fields separate buttons appear, which open drop-down menus when you click on them. For each search field, all entries in the database are shown (except: collection number, date, notes), which can then be selected. The number in brackets represents the number of entries in the database.
  • The drop-down menus will only contain those values that are compatible with the other search entries (see autocomplete boxes).  
  • Some drop-down menus are disabled if the list would be too large without the limitation from another field. You can avoid this by searching for "*" in the requested field, but this probably slows down the searches.


If you are still confused or if you need further help don't hesitate to contact us: Swiss Orchid Foundation.