The Institution

Herbarium Bradeanum (HB), founded in Rio de Janeiro in l958, 19th June, by the researcher Guido J. F. Pabst, is a scientific institution, not governmental, not profitable, which objectives are the study of Brazilian flora, the formation, the maintenance and the expansion of a representative herbarium of native vegetation and, in this way, helps the official institutions, promoting and supplying subsidies to the botanical researches and those researches which concerned bio-diversity studies.
Since l967, it is recognized as an institution of public utility of the state of Rio de Janeiro, by the law nº 1.497, l967, the 31st October.

  Guido Pabst
The founders

By the time of the Herbarium Bradeanum foundation, a group of 17 important people to the recent botanical history of Brazil were with Guido Pabst.
Adda Abrendroth, Adyr Guimarães, Apparício Pereira Duarte (naturalist), Dimitri I. B. Sucre, Edmundo Pereira (naturalist) , Ezechias P. Heringer (agronomist), Gert Hatschbach (naturalist), Graziela M. Barroso (naturalist), Helmut Sick (Zoologist), Ida de Vattimo Gil (naturalist), Lauro Pereira Travassos (physician), Leon Geraldo Pabst, Liane de Jesus Teixeira (agronomist), Luyz de Mendonça e Silva (physician), Odette Pereira Travassos (biologist), Rudolpho Abrendroth and Walter Alberto Egler (agronomist) took part in this group of associates-founders .
The name, the symbol, the patron

The name of the institution is a homage paid to Alexandre Curt Brade (1881-1971), who studied many botanical families and groups, such as pterydophyta (Polypodium and Adiantum) and became the patron.
Although graduated in architecture, since his childhood, he has been interested in nature due to the excursions he did with his father who was an entomologist.
Encouraged by his father, he started to distinguish the different vegetal species he found.

Alexandre Brade
Thus, he spent his spare time studying Botany and attended, on Sundays, to a systematic botanical course.
Brade had a brother, Alfred Brade, who lived in Costa Rica and had a greenhouse in San Jose. Fascinated by the description his brother did about the tropical flora and, mainly, about the beauty of the orchids, Brade went, in l908, to Costa Rica. In company with his brother, he explored the surroundings of San Jose and other sites, included La Palma, the haven of the Pterydophyta.
Attracted by the diversity of this group, he stayed there for two years and half and gathered a collection of 912 specimens, which represented 500 species. He corresponded with many European specialists who described 60 news species. That collection, or at least, part of it, started, as well as Guido Pabst's orchid collection, the patrimony of Herbário Bradeanum.
From Costa Rica, he came to São Paulo, attracted by the flora of the Atlantic Forest and by the intense activities of the civil architecture market in São Paulo city.
Em l928, he got a function in National Museum of Rio de Janeiro and, having the library at his disposal, he could work independent of any specialist to identify his collections.
He spent Sundays studying the rich flora of Rio de Janeiro's surroundings and doing the researches in Serra dos Órgãos and Itatiaia, going on his studies about the high altitudes flora, covering the geographical distribution and phylogeny.
In the 30th decade, he became the superintendent of Botanical Garden where he had many other functions. In l952, he retired and came back to São Paulo, where he went on his studies about the classification of Pterydphyta and Melastomataceae, having a grant from the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas - CNPq (National Committee to Scientific Researches).
Brade published 86 articles in many scientific magazines and has been honored by Marburg University, Germany, his country, with the title of Doctor "Honoris Causa", due the relevance of his work about the South and Central Americas flora.
He was 90 years old when he did in 1971.
  HB symbol
To everyone who could be surprised by the fact that the symbol of HB, Schizaea pacificans Mart. and not an orchid as could be expected (as Pabst was an orchidologist),
we should say that this plant belongs to Pterydophyta, the main vegetal group studied by Brade and because it is the symbol of peace and friendship
among Indian tribes in the interior of Brazil, according the explanation
the botanist Von Martius received from an Indian chief who brought him that plant. That is why, he choose "pacificans" as specific name when he described it.
With the choice of this symbol, the founders intended to demonstrate their disposition in collaborating as much as possible with the botanists all around the world in favor of a great work of common interest.

The aim

The study of the Brazilian flora formation, maintenance and expansion of a representative herbarium of native vegetation, the recuperation and maintenance of the scientific collections with historical-cultural values and the development of projects that help the preservation of Brazilian bio-diversity are the main aims of HB.

The patrimony

The initial botanical patrimony of the herbarium has been formed by two collections which were very important under the scientific and historic-cultural points of view: Pterydophyta from Costa Rica (Brade's collection) and "Orchidaceae" collection (Pabst's collection).
This patrimony has being increased with the remained Guido Pabst's collection, as well as through other donations received from the associates, or plants collected by researches and students related with the institution and exchanges with scientific institutions.
This increase allowed the inclusion in Index Harborium in l961.
The botanical collection is formed 84.000 excisatas, or, specimens of dehydrated botanical material, a collection of 1.000 nomenclatural types (see the explanation) which are rare and have an inestimable scientific value.
The high number of "Types" is due to the intense work of collecting plants and botanical studies done by many researches, some of them, associate-founders of HB.
Besides Guido Pabst and Alexandre Brade, we can point out Edmundo Pereira, A Castellanos, Graziela Maciel Barrroso, A P. Durate, Pe. Raulino Reitz, R. Lein, H. S. Irwin, R. C. Barneby, A. Krapovickas, C. Cristóbal, J.J. Wurdack, Gert Hatschabach, F. C. Hoehne, Dimitre Sucre, Ezechias P. Heringer, Oswaldo Handro, M. Kuhlmann, R. Kautsky, L.K.C. de Araujo, A Seidel and more recently, Elton Leme.
880 types could be distinguished among 815 species distributed by 53 families, we should emphasize the collections of bromiliaceae (238) and orchidaceae (257) families, the last one corresponds to 10% of the total patrimony of the herbarium.
Those two families have being intensively studies because their natural population are severely threatened to extinction by the destruction of the habitats and the predatory rooting out of the most outstanding species.
Besides Costa Rica (Brade's collection), Ecuador, Guatemala's flora, other countries' flora is also represented in the herbarium patrimony.
The collections of herborized plants are well identified, making them indispensable to the researches about regional floras and monographic studies, mainly in vegetal taxonomy.
The HB patrimony is also formed by a library with at 6.500 documents and 3.000 registers with information about orchids, at about 50 rare works and more than 400 titles of periodic magazines and, approximately, 4.000 separatas, besides the scientific bulletin BRADEA. It is already in the volume IX, with 328 numbers published since l969.

Pabst's card index - photo by Sergio Araujo
Considered as one of the preciosities of the Herbarium Bradeanum, Pabst's card index is formed by 38.961 registers with information about orchids.
All information concerning genera and species of the Orchidaceae family, he could gather, is carefully transcribed in those cards: photocopies and original works about genera, such as "princeps" works, re-descriptions, species, keys to identify, types, phototypes (photography of the types, species photographed, perianto, copies of original works, basionyms, synonyms, watercolors by Samuel Salgado and Margarete Mee published in the book, Orchidaceae Brasilienses, flattened perianths, besides the register of the exsicatas which are filed in Herbarium Bradeanum.
Sometimes, Pabst did more than a card to the same species with different information.
Those cards were the basis of the book "Orchidaceae Brasilienses".

See some of those cards did by Pabst that varied
according to his mood and information available, but he was
always concerned about doing the most exact description.

Pabst's card - photo by Sergio Araujo
Laelia longipes

Pabst's card - photo by Sergio Araujo
Cattleya autumnalis atropurpurea
Pabst's card - photo by Sergio Araujo
Laelia perrini
Pabst's card - photo by Sergio Araujo
Cattleya labiata Ldl.

Current Projects

Among current projects that HB staff is carrying out, we can point out the researches into pteridophyta, bromeliaceae, orchidaceae, asclepiadacea and a survey of Rio de Janeiro city flora with the support of Rio de Janeiro municipality;
"Encosta da Vila Dois Rios" is a project developed with UERJ (Rio de Janeiro University), due to the convention signed between the two organizations, carried out with the Botany section, Department of Animal and Vegetal Biology of the Biology Institute. The project is concentrated in the hillsides (encostas) of Vila Dois Rios where there was a prison, closed in l994, in an area located within the Parque Estadual da Ilha Grande (State Park of Grande Isle). The woods of the hillsides, Atlantic Forest vegetation, are in different stages of conservation as during the construction of the prison, many areas were deforested for doing many constructions such as reservoir, houses to people who worked in the prison on the other hand, some other areas stayed almost untouchable. For example, Jararaca wood located in higher altitude, more inaccessible, is very well preserved, while the area of Mãe d'Água reservoir is in stage of recuperation, since 25 years ago, some others since 50 years. First of all, a survey of the florula (flora a limited region) will be done, verifying the entire vegetation and comparing the woods in different stages of recovering, verifying which species are in the wood more preserved, which species are in the area in recuperation. Many interesting species have being found, bromelias, orquídeas, included species that were not too much collected because this is region is not so studied as some others in the state. Many researches are already being carried out by UERJ in this place but concerning the vegetation mainly the vascular plants, the study will be done by the staff of HB.

Forthcoming Projects

Due to the relevance of the patrimony, HB intends to digitize all data of the patrimony, systematizing and storing the bibliographic information and botanical collections in order to make the scientific information available in a national and international degree. It will assure the physical integrality of works by decreasing the necessity of manipulation and, at the same time, making the researches faster.


Since the foundation, in a way or another, many peoples and institutions contributed giving financial supports or giving collections to Herbarium Bradeanum. Dr. Berta Lutz bequeathed part of his legacy allowing the first director, after Guido Pabst's death, Dr. Margarete Emerich, maintained HB, all along those years until the new direction nominated.
Due to the convention signed with the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro - UERJ (Rio de Janeiro University), Herbario Bradeanum is, nowadays, appropriately settled in the building "João Lyra" since l989.
After a period of too many difficulties with the activities almost stopped, the financial support gave by Banco Boavista allowed the direction retaking the initial objectives, recuperating and organizing all scientific patrimony.
Last year, Rio de Janeiro Municipality signed a very helping convention, for 6 months, allowing, in this way, the acquisition of equipment and the repairing of many things. This convention has been signed by the endeavor of the councilman Chico Aguiar, president of the Environment Committee of the Common Council Municipal.

Present Direction

The present direction of Herbarium Bradeanum is formed by

Director: Dr. Jorge Fontella Pereira, Professor at National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ
Treasure: Dr. Luiz Felipe Nevares de Carvalho, President of Brazilian Society of Bromiliaea
Secretary: Dr. Maria da Conceição Valente, researcher at Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro
Phitotechnique supervisor: Dr. Nilda Marquete F. da Silva, researcher and curator of Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro
Librarian: Professor Maria Célia Vianna researcher
Professor Alberto Castellanos - FEEMA

Editorial Committee of Bradea:

President - Dr. Margarete Emmerich
Vice-president- Dr. Luiz Felipe Nevares de Carvalho
Ariane Luna Peixoto (UFRJ),
Berta Lange Morretes (USP),
Cecília G. Costa (JBRJ),
Doroty Sue Dunn de Araujo (UFRJ),
Elton Martinez C. Leme (HB),
Léa de Jesus Neves (MN, UFRJ),
Luiz Emygdio de M. Filho ( MN, UFRJ),
Paulo G. Windisch (UNESP),
Wilma T. Ormond (MN, UFRJ).

Besides the director, many researches contribute as volunteer in technical areas, Fernando da Costa Pinheiro, orchid specialist, Miriam Cristina Alvarez Pereira, biologist (specialist in ecology, conservation and manipulation of wild life and phyto-sociology - a branch of ecology that deals with the interrelations among the flora of particular areas and especially with plant communities), coordinator of projects, Leonor Ribas de Andrade, master in ecology (participant of Vila Dois Rios project, specialist in the group of climbing plants). Iranilda Calado Santana, orchid specialist, Flávio Cardoso Pereira, Sergio Barbosa Gonçalves in administrative area and two trainees working in Vila Dois Rios Project, Ângelo and Leonor Cardim.

Herbarium Bradeanum is one of the ten biggest herbarium in Brazil and the patrimony is one of the most representative of South America.


Herbarium Bradeanum
Rua São Francisco Xavier 524,
Pavilhão João Lyra Filho, bloco E, 2o andar
Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Phone: 587-7982 e 587-7979.

The compilation of the information is obtained from a survey made in releases, presentation and many printed material used with permission of Herbarium Bradeanum, in Bradea bulletin (Volume I, nº 1, 30.08.l969, volume III, nº 10, de 19.09.80, volume VIII, nº 27, de 16.12.l999, in the booklet "Nomenclatural types of Herbarium Bradeanum, Angiospermae" and also based in interviews given by the staff of the institution.
From left to right: Jorge Fontella Pereira (director), Fernando da Costa Pinheiro, orchid specialist, Miriam Cristina Pereira, biologist and coordinator of projects and Leonor Ribas de Andrade, master in ecology.

Staff - photo by Sergio Araujo

back to summarynext