What is an Herbarium?
An herbarium is a repository for botanical collections. Many contain a combination of collections unique to the region where they are located, combined with national and international specimens exchanged for the purpose of further study. Herbarium specimens contain some very critical information that is useful to plant conservationists and enthusiasts, including:
Herbarium specimens are also often referred to in making floristic keys, which are necessary for determining many difficult to ID plants, where mere photographs do not help. In some cases, close study of herbarium specimens has resulted in the discovery of unique species. Today, the modern herbaria not only manage voucher specimens but also contribute floristic knowledge in the form of digital images and online databases.
Visit the links below to learn about some of the exciting and innovative initiatives that are revolutionizing the way we observe, study and enjoy our native flora!
Help us revolutionize plant monitoring and mapping. Transcribe today!
Louisiana herbaria, as members of Southeast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections or SERNEC, are leading the way in digitizing herbarium specimens collected here and throughout the Southeast. You can contribute to this effort directly by helping transcribe plant specimen labels. These labels contain valuable information, and combined with digital scans of the plants, are incredibly useful for identification. Click the image below to start right away!