About the Janet Cosh Herbarium 

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The Janet Cosh Herbarium is a repository for dried plant specimens collected from the Sydney, Illawarra, South Coast and Southern Tableland regions of New South Wales. The Herbarium provides information on the taxonomy, history, distribution and conservation of plant species within these regions. The specimens are stored in a controlled environment and their details are recorded in a database. Voucher specimens used in research are also stored in the Herbarium. The staff are skilled in plant identification, taxonomy and ecology and these skills are used to teach, facilitate research and undertake consultancies. The herbarium held over 1600 specimens in 2014 and the collection continues to expand.


The Janet Cosh Herbarium supports a number of subjects within the Faculty of Science, at the University of Wollongong and facilitates the teaching of undergraduate students.


The Janet Cosh Herbarium provides support and resources for post graduate students and researchers and provides instruction in plant identification.

Previous studies include:

  • Vegetation Dynamics of the Cumberland Plain, Western Sydney
  • Systematics and ecology of modern Australian Charophytes
  • Microsatellite analysis of genetic variation in the moss Ceratodon purpureus
  • Translocation of the Eastern Bristlebird
  • Description of new Taxa. (Pellow, B.& Porter, J.L (2005). A new species of Goodenia (Goodeniaceae) from Nocoleche Nature Reserve, Far Western Plains, New South Wales, Telopea 11 (1))
  • Revision of the Flora of the Sydney Region (Pellow, Henwood & Carolin 2009)


Provision of services for organisations and consultants who require plant identification, botanical surveys and analysis


The Janet Cosh Herbarium is interested in collaboration with interested parties to develop strategic partnerships. Previous examples include:

  • John Ray Herbarium and Fisher Library at the University of Sydney to revise the text Flora of the Sydney Region (Carolin & Tindale 1993) and with funds provided by the NSW Environment Trust, University of Sydney and University of Wollongong to publish Flora of the Sydney Region Pellow, Henwood & Carolin, 2009.
  • University Campus Environment Management Committee, Buildings & Grounds and the Office for Community and Partnership to develop a Campus Tree Walk (date??).
  • Fitzroy Falls Visitors Centre, Morton National Park to catalogue their plant specimen collection and contribute to the development of the Janet Cosh Room established in 2000.
  • NSW National Parks Foundation (1995) to support the cataloguing of the botanical illustrations of Janet Cosh and produce a pamphlet about the Herbarium.
  • Wollongong Botanic Gardens to provide ongoing technical support to their staff.
  • Office of Advancement Community Engagement, University of Wollongong to publish Flowering Wonderfully the Botanical Legacy of Janet Cosh (2012).
  • Faculty of Creative Arts in support and curation of exhibitions related to the botanical illustrations of Janet Cosh. 


The Herbarium provides a regional resource for the community. Staff liaise with community groups to provide information, expert advice and give talks to interest groups. From time to time volunteers assist with particular projects at the herbarium. 

Local botanists have contributed to the specimen collection such as Kevin Mills who donated specimens to the establishment of the Herbarium and continues to make contributions. 

Other community members have also contributed to the specimen collection sometimes with a significant collection from a particular area.

Jenny Simons (right)
 Jenny Simons 

Jenny completed a Bush Regeneration course in the 1970s with the National Trust in Sydney. After she moved to the Southern Highlands in the early 1990s, she worked with a bushcare group who were deeply committed to regenerating the old Ironmines site in Alexandar Reserve, near Mittagong. Jenny collected and preserved numerous specimens from the site and in 2005 donated over 200 specimens to the Janet Cosh Herbarium. Jenny and other women from the Southern Highlands sometimes volunteered at the Janet Cosh Herbarium. They also volunteered in Mount Gibraltar Landcare & Bushcare and their efforts were published in The Gib (2005). 

Dorothy O’KeefeDorothy O'keefe

Dorothy O’Keefe donated a collection of resources to the Janet Cosh Herbarium in March 2010. The collection includes over 70 plant records collected between 1980–2009 from around the upper Minnamurra River, Jamberoo, NSW. Dorothy’s donation also included a number of her booklets which document the history of the area and describe the flora of the Minnamurra area. She is a founding member of the Upper Minnamurra Landcare Group.    

Last reviewed: 11 March, 2015

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Flowering Wonderfully

Flowering Wonderfully – The Botanical Legacy of Janet Cosh
For sale at the Janet Cosh Herbarium $29.95


Janet Cosh’s botanical illustrations and resources have been displayed at UOW and several events in the community.