The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is known for its knowledge of epiphytes and astounding collections. Among some of the best in the world are Selby's plant collections (living and preserved), electronic databases and printed documentation, books (including rare books and botanical plates), scientific journals, and terabytes of digital images and video from over thirty years of research, expeditions, and collaboration by some of the worlds best botanists. Selby Gardens maintains the most comprehensive collection of living epiphytes in the world.
Nearly 200 expeditions to the tropics and subtropics have contributed to the MSBG collections of more than 12,500 accessions of documented live plants, which include some 6,000 species in 1,200 genera from 214 plant families. The living collection is a scientific resource. It also provides source material for progams of education, conservation, and horticultural display.
The herbarium consists of approximately 100,000 specialized collections of tropical flora, largely neotropical, with an emphasis on epiphytes. The herbarium is open for study to visiting scientists and students. Loans are available internationally to recognized institutions, generally for a period of one year with renewal upon request. The floras of the Andes and Central America are well represented.
The Spirit Collection contains nearly 28,000 vials of mostly orchid flowers in preservative fluids, along with several thousand gesneriad specimens, making it the second largest suchcollection in the world.
(Featured Database Type Collection of the Herbarium)
The Gardens maintains an up-to-date database of its living collection and is in the process of capturing information from its herbarium specimens. Most herbarium type specimens have been digitally imaged and can be accessed here.
Selby Gardens Research Library
The Research Library houses a diverse collection of media resources on tropical botany, with an emphasis on epiphytes. The Library, primarily a research and reference tool for staff scientists and horticulturists is also used by plant professionals and plant enthusiasts.