Botanical research

The scientists of the SMNS Botany Department actively contribute to recent issues of biodiversity research in the fields of biogeography, taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetics, evolutionary biology, and floristics. They apply a combination of modern methods like DNA-analysis and classical like morphology.

The floristic mapping of Baden-Württemberg has along tradition at the Museum. Back in 1977, Siegmund Seybold, then curator at the Botany Department, published a grid mapping of the flora of the Württemberg part of the state. A first completion of the mapping of Baden-Württemberg as a whole was presented between 1990 and 1998 with the edition of “Die Farn- und Blütenpflanzen Baden-Württembergs” (Ferns and Flowering Plants of Baden-Württemberg). Since 2008, a complete new mapping is carried out. The recent distribution maps may be consulted at

Team Botany

Head of Department:

  • PD Dr. Mike Thiv – Fern- and flowering plants (Pteridophyta and Phanerogamae)

Deputy head of Department:

  • Dr. Holger Thüs – Fungi (incl. lichenised taxa), horn-, livermosses and Bryophyta, Algae


Research associates:

Molecular lab:

Preparation / Technical Assistance:

Citizen Science

Floristic mapping

Baden-Württemberg harbours more than 2,100 native vascular plants of which more than a third is regarded as threatened (36,2 %) and therefore listed in the Red Data Book.

Things need to be known to be protected. For this reason, the Botany Dept. of the Natural History Museum Stuttgart conducted floristic mapping in the period of 1970-1998 together with the Natural History Museum Karlsruhe being supported by 250 volunteers, aiming at a capture of all vascular plants in Baden-Württemberg. As a result, eight volumes of "Die Farn- und Blütenpflanzen Baden-Württembergs / Ferns and flowering plants of Baden-Württemberg" were published. Besides distribution maps and identification keys and for every species illustrations and detailed descriptions on morphology, ecology, conservation status and distribution were presented. This inventory of the flora of Baden-Württemberg is serving as basis for many conservation projects (e.g., Red-list of Baden-Württemberg, Artenschutzprogramm / Landesanstalt für Umweltschutz. F+E-Programme „Pflanzenverbreitung im Klimawandel / BfN).

Plants come and go. Introduced species, natural migrations or extinction events have an impact on the distribution of plants. Therefore, a new, ongoing data collection has been started in 2008, in collaboration with BAS and AHO. This project is enormously supported by the work of 180 volunteers.

More than 1.2 million data records are stored in a data base at the Natural History Museum Stuttgart. Updated distribution maps are available online: