The Department of Botany offers consultancy and plant identification under the Botanical Information Service (BIS), an extension activity of the College and the outreach programme of Sree Narayana College Herbarium (SNCH).  It provides herbarium reference and consultation, flowering plant identification especially of fodder/forage/weed including grasses & sedges and general information on plants, and authentication to researchers, the general public and government institutions and ecological consultancies.

The plant authentication certificates are issued to researchers and students wherever necessary. Research individuals/institutions can deposit their voucher specimens at the herbarium of Sree Narayana College Kollam (SNCH).

The SNCH  is attached to the Post Graduate & Research Department of Botany, Sree Narayana College Kollam, which was established in 1949. A complete set of herbarium specimens from district floras (Kollam & Pathanamthitta) of Kerala State, India were properly documented and managed at SNCH. The voucher specimens from internal as well as external botanical studies are added each year from 2016 onwards. Presently, the herbarium houses 5035 specimens belonging to 134 families and 988 genera and 2083 species, arranged by the Bentham & Hooker classification system. Digitalization of the College Herbarium (SNCH) has begun in 2022. Until February 2023, about 3000 plant specimens were digitally archived.

In 2023, SNCH has recognized and indexed in Index Herbariorum (IH), a guide to the world’s herbaria. For more details, visit Sree Narayana College Herbarium (SNCH)

Submission of Voucher specimens

A voucher herbarium specimen is a pressed plant sample with collection data deposited for future reference. It supports research work and may be examined to verify the identity of the specific plant used in a study. It is the responsibility of the collector/researcher to properly prepare, label and sort specimens for submission/identification/authentication. The following are the different steps  for the deposition of specimens in SNCH:

  1. Download and fill out the REQUEST FORM FOR SNCH AUTHETICATION 
  2. Establish official contact with the herbarium staff through the Head of the department
  3. Collect adequate plant material for identification/submission purposes (eg. flowers/fruits), which fill a herbarium sheet (The size of the herbarium sheet is 11 1/2″ X 16 1/2″ )
  4. Press the specimen when completely dried and neatly organized. Loose fruits should be secured in temporary paper packets.
  5. Mount the plant specimen and label it on the correct size of the herbarium sheet.
  6. Properly label the herbarium specimen with the help of a field book (Accession number, Date of collection, Locality, Name of species, Family, Habitat, Notes, Collectors Name)
  7. Submit the herbarium specimen with a registration fee of Rs. 100/-



Name: Barringtonia asiatica (L.) Kurz  ‘Fish poison tree


Notes:  This interesting tree was planted at the Botanical Garden of Sree Narayana College, Kollam (BGSNCK) in 1978, from the live collection of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. All parts of this species are poisonous, due to the presence of saponins. Its characteristic ‘box’ fruits are potent enough to be used as a fish poison. The seeds are ground to a powder and used to stun or kill fish for easy capture, suffocating the fish while the flesh is unaffected. The tree is considered a ‘flag species ‘of BGSNCK.

See more details at Hortus Keralae


Resources available at BIS

  1. Recognized Herbarium (SNCH), housed with about 5000 specimens under 2100 species of  Angiosperms & Gymnosperms, arranged by the Bentham & Hooker system.  A complete set of specimens of the flora of Kollam, Flora of  Pathanamthitta, Sedges & Grasses of Kerala, exotic plants of Ooty, Tamil Nadu & Flora of the SNC Kollam campus were properly deposited.
  1. Equipments: Plant press (12 Nos.); A3 Digital Scanner (ScanSnap); Stereomicroscope with Image Projection System for plant identification purposes.
  1. Authenticated Taxonomic Literature and reference materials, including national/regional floras and manuals
  1. Subscribed Taxon, the journal of  International Association for Plant Taxonomy (IAPT), Systematic Botany, international journal of the Americal Society for Plant taxonomists (ASPT), Rheedea, the journal for Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy (IAAT) & Current Science, the interdisciplinary science journal from the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS). The hard copies of selected issues of the journals are now available at BIS.

  1. BIS Reports (from 2016 onwards) are periodically published by BIS. Until December 2021, six reports are freely accessible to botanical enthusiasts.  Earlier, 4 reports were published under the title of ‘Botanical Survey Series’ (2012-2015)
  2. An associated Botanical Garden (BGSNCK) harbours various rare trees and medicinal & exotic plant species. The present checklist consists of 193 species of vascular plants, which includes 174 angiosperms, 5 pteridophytes & 2 gymnosperms.  The majority of the plants, especially woody plants, are digitally tagged with a QR code, based on the current botanical nomenclature system. See the updated checklist in BIS Report (June 2020)
  3. Service of Herbarium Keeper every day from 10 am-3 pm IST (Monday-Friday)

On-line outreach programmes 

Plant Name: Dolichandra unguis-cati (L.) Miers. (syn. Bignonia unguis-cati) “Cats’ claw” vine


Note: It is a curious heat-loving climber, blooms at BGSNCK in Jan 2020, climbs with the help of ‘cat-claw’ like tendrils into the top of the trees and rarely blooms in its lifecycle. This specimen is usually given for anomalous secondary thickening practical classes under UG & PG programmes. See more details at Hortus Keralae



Officer-In-charge: Dr Kiranraj MS, Assistant Professor in Botany, Sree Narayana College Kollam

E-mail: [email protected]


By Published On: March 26th, 2020Categories: Botany Department Activities

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