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The University of Basel received the herbarium and library of Dr. Jany Renz after his death in 1999 by legacy. To maintain this cultural and scientific heritage the Swiss Orchid Foundation (SOF) was established 2001.

Along with the Renz herbarium, orchid specimen from the collections Bernoulli & Cario, Basler Botanische Gesellschaft (BBG) and Institute of Botany at the University of Basel were digitised. Images of about 25,000 orchid specimen can be accessed via the Database Search.

World Orchid Iconography

The SOF established an image database called World Orchid Iconography (WOI) that intends to document all orchid species on earth. Today, this database comprises almost 80'000 records of herbarium specimen, photographs and hand-coloured drawings. It covers already more than 10'000 orchid species, which is about a third of all known species.


With approximately 150,000 entries, BibliOrchidea is the worldwide largest orchid literature database. It contains most of the existing journal articles, books and preprints on orchids.

Swiss Orchid Research Award

The SOF offers a competitive award called Swiss Orchid Research Award (SORA) for scientific orchid research in the fields of evolutionary and reproductive biology, taxonomy, anatomy, physiology and ecology of orchids.

Undetermined orchids

We would be very grateful if you could help us to improve our image database and the species determinations. If you have any suggestions for determinations of our unnamed orchids please let us know. You can find a list here: Undetermined Orchids. Thank you very much!

The Swiss Orchid Foundation is operating under patronage of the University of Basel

Universität Basel Rector: Dean of the faculty of natural science: Head of the Botanical Institute,
University of Basel, Schönbeinstrasse 6:
Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno Prof. Dr. Martin Spiess Prof. Dr. Christian Körner

Schweizerische Orchideenstiftung am Herbarium Jany Renz

Botanisches Institut der Universität Basel

Schönbeinstr. 6
CH-4056 Basel
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