The herbarium of the Department of Biosciences (Herbarium Universitatis Mediolanensis-HbMI) originates from the historical collections of the ancient Institute of Botanical Sciences, subsequently updated and increased with samples coming from scientific studies mainly carried out in Lombardy region.
Vascular plant collections consist of many tens of thousands of samples. Samples have been recovered, restored and catalogued after being labelled and included in an electronic database. Samples are separated following the original collection. Collections belonging to important collectors form historical herbaria: among the most important ones, Sordelli, Corti, Ardissone, Cobau, Fiori-Beguinot herbaria, dating back to 19th and early 20th century. Together with the historical herbaria, modern specimens, placed in systematic order, form a heritage of c. 6000 specimens. Lower plants and fungi are included into the Italian Cryptogamic herbarium, including briophytes (c 15000 specimens), algae and fungi (more than 25000 samples).
Herbarium specimen of Aldrovanda vesciculosa, aquatic carnivorous plant extinct in Italy according to IUCN, for which reintroduction projects are in progress. The specimen was collected in Mantova in 1870.