Darwin was recommended for the Beagle voyage by his botany professor and friend John Henslow from Cambridge University. Henslow played another crucial role in ensuring the success of the world-trip by receiving and caring for the huge numbers of plants, animals, rocks and fossils which Darwin collected over the next five years. The samples were dispatched home by Darwin in large trunks, which Henslow carefully unpacked.
The plants were prepared by Henslow as herbarium sheets since they were a gift to himself from Darwin. Henslow distributed the rest of this splendid scientific collection amongst his colleagues. The plants now make up a unique scientific and historic element in the University Herbarium at Cambridge. Altogether, there are about 2,700 plants from the voyage, and Henslow arranged them on about 950 herbarium sheets. You can look at images of all of them here.
Small numbers of Darwin’s plant specimens are also in other herbaria, most notably Kew. Some Darwin specimens are still incorporated in the main collections of other herbaria around the world.