Botany Research Division

Higher Plants Research Group

Systematic of flowering plants Research Group

This group follows investigation on higher plants of Iran and their relatives in adjacent countries or wherever they occur. In this course, the base of studies has been prepared. A herbarium has been established which is apparently the largest herbarium in Iran. It includes some 150000 herbarium specimens containing about more than 95 percent of Iranian species. Also, on the Base Exchange agreement some herbarium specimens have been received from the other herbaria of neighboring countries. The largest botanical library of Iran has been established. Appropriate laboratory instruments have been prepared beside the herbarium.


Researches results abstract up to present time

  1. Publication of the scientific periodical, namely the Iranian Journal of Botany from 1976. It contains many papers of the Scientific Board of the group.
  2. Publication of a new Flora of Iran from1988, the numbers run to 149 up to now.
  3. Discovery of many new taxa for Iran. Also, many new reports of taxa for the flora of Iran.
  4. Publication of a book entitled "Red Data of Iran", introducing conservation status of the plants of Iran.
  5. Individual publication of books and booklets introducing different aspects of the Iranian plants.


Goals ahead 

  1. Development of the herbarium by collecting more materials from Iran or possibly neighboring countries. At present, some 250000 herbarium specimens is estimated to be collected.
  2. Continuation of the publication of the Flora of Iran, the numbers might reach to 180.
  3. Doing taxonomic, biosystematics and phylogenetic researches on the plants of Iran and their relatives.
  4. Plant conservation status researches.
  5. Plant geobotanical studies concerning reevaluation of known defined phytochoria.
Systematic of non-flowering plants Research Group

In this team, collection, identification and documentation of the flora of three basic groups of nonflowering organisms is performed. These groups include the lichens, Mosses and the Algae.

A new and well-equipped herbarium has recently been stablished for nonflowering collection of Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands.


The team working in this field study the systematics and ecology of lichens. The preliminary checklist of the species is provided and documented up to now and the study on the flora of the lichens of Iran is underway. During the field trips to different parts of Iran, 12931 specimens are collected. 4000 specimens are identified from this collection and are kept in the herbarium of the research institute of forests and rangelands. 36 families, 93 genera and 149 species are recorded totally which belong to semiarid, arid and temperate regions.



There are 5715 specimens collected totally. Most specimens (4273 specimens) are maintained in the Botanical Garden of Nowshahr, Mazandaran province, North of Iran.

TARI includes 700 specimens and the rest of the specimens are kept in the herbarium of the natural research center of Lorestan (West of Iran). They belong to 40 families, 123 genera and 300 species.

As mentioned, most of the species belong to temperate zone and Hyrcanian province. A few number of species belong to semiarid region of Iran.



Herbarium of Algae has two parts: The first one which is more ancient includes macro-algae specimens of red, brown and green Algae. The second part contains diatom-slides as microscopic algae which is newly organized and contains 40 freshwater diatom-slides. The herbarium of macro-algae contain about 4550 specimens of marine algae of which 550 are kept in TARI (Herbarium of research institute of forests and rangelands), and 4000 are kept in the centralized herbarium of marine algae in "Agriculture and Research Center of Hormozgan province". This herbarium contains 101 families, 266 genera and 516 species which belong to subtropical region of Iran at South.

Ecology and phytosociology Research Group

The subdivision of Phytosociology and Plant Ecology with the objectives of studying plant communities and biodiversity of protected areas and special ecosystems of the country, the ecology of plant populations, as well as the preparation of vegetation maps, has started its activity in the Botany Research Department since 1990. Some of the projects carried out by the members of this group are the study of vegetation communities of Lesakooti forests of Tonekabon, Vaz research forest, Orumieh Lake salt marshes, Arasbaran protected area, Touran protected area, Kavir protected area, Mouteh protected area and Bisotun protected area, as well as preparation of Qeshm Island. The last research was done, in title of study of plant communities including 13 protected areas, in the form of a national project. So far, more than 30 research and academic projects have been conducted in this group. The results of these studies were the introduction of a large number of unidentified plant communities in the country in the form of dozens of articles and books and the provision of a number of vegetation maps.

Paleobotany Research Group

Iran has a well extended sequence stratigraphy which consists of a great assemblage of diverse fossils, i.e. vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. To understand the current extension of plants, one has to consider past status and development trends of the plants.

Regarding the many years it took to convert the plants into fossils and taking into account the special conditions such as burial in sediments and away from weathering needed for fossilization, we should declare the fossils as resources which would not regenerate. So conserving this wealth should be recognized by scientists and government. Studying the plant fossils, their identification and definition of their age are the main goals of this research group.

The vegetation in Mesozoic Era has been studied in this research group in Botany Research Division. The future projects will cover the studies of different part of Iran according to their plant macrofossil.

A Paleobotany museum has recently been established to show the plant fossil collection.

The collection includes an exhibition section and the main collection. There are three different fossil collections including specimens from central Alborz, eastern Alborz and Western Alborz collections.


Botanical gardens research group

Iran is a vast country with special conditions in terms of geographical position, climatic diversity and topography that has led to a high diversity of flowering and nonflowering plants. Without deep, reliable and accurate study of vegetation, the exact recognition of plant species and plant biodiversity of Iran as well as any planning for the development and management of natural resources in the country is impossible. Therefore, this approach led to the establishment of the National Botanical Garden of Iran in 1968, and then continued to operate as the Botanical Institute of Iran. It joined the Research Institute of Forest and Rangeland in 1979 and currently working on her duties as the "Botany Research Division".

Gene bank research group

Seed is the most and basic part of the plant that plays the role of re-growing the plant, conserving and transferring the plants genetic material. It has also basic effect on dispersion, propagation and plant viability in hard conditions. Seeds have supported the great part of the food of the human, animal and birds. In addition, the seeds have many medicinal, industrial and commercial effects in human life. Human civilization was started with seed recognition, collection, sowing and harvesting the seeds.

Although in-situ conservation is the best for maintaining the plant genetic resources, many difficulties such as climate changes, irregular plant use, over grazing and also natural and unnatural events pushed to ex-situ plant conservation. Especially this method has great importance in conserving the plants that are in danger and extinction. Depending upon the seeds or plant material resources, they are conserved in wide range of cold temperatures that is between 0 -196 degree centigrade.

Documents have shown that natural resources gene-bank division has begun its activities since 1960 decade in Research Institute of Forest and Rangeland (RIFR). Because, the plant genetic resources conservation have most priority, especially conserving the endemic and also plants that are under extinction, RIFR decided to increase the level of the gene bank unit to Gene bank division. So, it restarts to reorganize the collection and evaluation of the range, medicinal and forest plant genetic materials.