The Herbarium of the Department of Botany of UFRJ had its origin in 1953 in the old course of Natural History of the Faculty of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro, from the collection of the European Flora of the Swiss botanist J. C. Ducommum (1818-1895). The collection was originally created with the purpose of serving as didactic support to the disciplines of Classical Botany, botanic applied to pharmacy, Economic Botany and Landscaping.
It came to appear as a scientific collection in the official list of herbariums in the world (Index Herbariorum) in 1978 with the acronym RFA.
The RFA Herbarium supports teaching, research and extension, maintaining scientific exchange with numerous national and international Herbaria.
In 2006 the computerization system known as BRAHMS (Botanical Research and Herbarium Management System) was implemented.
In 2016 the RFA Herbarium became part of the REFLORA project. All data already included in BRAHMS migrated to the JABOT program.
In 2017 we received two new technicians, who are part of the RFA staff. The Herbarium has two Curators (Dr. Rosana C. Lopes and Dr. Lana S. Sylvestre) and three technicians (Jorginaldo W. de Oliveira, Erika v. Sohsten S. Medeiros and Carla Y G. Manão).
Currently, the collection consists of about 42,928 specimens between Phanerogamae and cryptogam representative of Flora of the State of Rio de Janeiro, as well as other Brazilian and European and Latin American countries. Of these, 24,323 were computerized and available for consultation. Among the most representative collections are collections by the distinguished botanists G. Hatschbach, A. P. Duarte, P. Occhioni and C. T. Rizzini.