The Michigan State University Herbarium represents a worldwide collection of all groups of plants, as well as lichenized and non-lichenized fungi. Current holdings number over 500,000 specimens, with approximately 315,000 specimens of vascular plants, 110,000 lichenized fungi, 35,000 non-lichenized fungi, and 20,000 bryophyte specimens. Over 1,800 type specimens are represented. The herbarium loans several thousand specimens a year to researchers at other institutions.

The Vascular Plant Collection:
The Vascular Plant collection is the oldest in the state, containing many specimens of historical importance. Nearly one-third of the collection was amassed by Dr. W.J. Beal during his 40 year tenure here. The collection is used locally by researchers and students working on systematic, evolutionary and ecological questions. Specimens are used in a service role to provide identifications for suspected plant poisoning cases, to aid in the identification of agricultural pests and to answer questions for local botanical enthusiasts.

Vascular plant families:
     Anacardiaceae collections of Dr. William T. Gillis
     Asteraceae of the United States and Mexico
     Poaceae, including the Beal wheat varieties
     Pteridophyte collections

Floristic Collections:
      Bahama Islands collections of Dr. William T. Gillis
  Mexico & Borneo collections of Dr. John H. Beaman
  Michigan and Great Lakes regional floras
  North American flora collections of John A. Churchill

The Cryptogamic Collections:
The lichen collection at Michigan State University herbarium is of international importance. The collection was assembled largely by Dr Henry A. Imshaug (curator of the Cryptogamic Herbarium from 1958 to 1990) and his graduate students, who included I. M. Brodo, R. C. Harris & C. M. Wetmore, and is notable for the extensive collections from island groups of the Southern Hemisphere, and an exsiccati collection containing c. 12,000 specimens. More details on this collection can be found on the lichen pages.

Lichens of:
North & Central America South America
Michigan and the Great Lakes Region Falkland Islands
Alpine areas of western North America Tierra del Fuego
Caribbean Islands Isla de los Estados (Staten Island)
  SW Chile
Australasia Juan Fernandez Islands
South Island, New Zealand  
New Zealand Shelf Islands Europe
Ilse Kerguelen Canary Islands

Paleobotanical Collections:
Tertiary vascular plant fossils of Succor Creek, Idaho and Oregon, contributed especially by Dr. Ralph Taggart and his students, and Paleozoic and Mesozoic collections of Professor Emeritus Aureal T. Cross and his students.

Back to General Info