With its 5 million specimens, the Section can be considered one of the main international conservation and research centers in the field of botany.
The largest collection (Central Herbarium), established in 1842 and continually growing, includes over 4.5 million samples from all over the world, in particular from Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
In addition, the Section includes some important historical collections, preserved in their original arrangement: Erbario Merini (XVI century), Erbario Cesalpino (XVI century), Erbario Micheli-Targioni (17-19th century), Erbario Webb (18-19th century), Erbario Beccari (19th century), Erbario Pichi Sermolli (20th century).
But the Section is not just about herbaria. It also contains other very important collections, both to support those of exsiccata ("ancillary collections", carpotheque, cecidiotheque, spermotheque, xilotheque), and some with a more artistic scope, such as the botanical models and still life paintings, both a valuable legacy from the Imperial and Royal Museum of Physics and Natural History.