The Palaeobotany Collections comprise over 230,000 single and collective items with more than 9,100 figured specimens and types. The collection covers the entire geological history of plants. Subcollections of the Cenophytic and Mesophytic eras comprising gymnosperms and angiosperms contain approximately 67,000 single and collective items from the Lower Jurassic to the Holocene. These include over 5,800 angiosperm and gymnosperm figured specimens and types. The sub-collections of the Palaeophytic period comprise approximately 120,000 items from the Precambrian to the Upper Perm periods. These include 3,300 figured and type specimens.
Geographical and geological foci include the Rhenish Lower Devonian, Central European Carboniferous, the Lower Permian (Rotliegend) of Thuringia and Saxony, the Cretaceous of Northern Germany and Brazil, as well as Tertiary lignite of Lusatia and Saxony-Anhalt. The material was historically often collected in connection with the commercial exploitation of coal deposits. This is why collections have been dominated by specimens from the Palaeophytic and Tertiary periods. The highly diverse material collected underground from the Carboniferous, mainly from Prussian coal deposits and the core sample collections from Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are particularly important. More recently, collections from the Mesophytic have been expanded with scientifically interesting material from the Triassic and Cretaceous period.