Herbarium Overview

The vascular plant collection is worldwide in scope due in large part to an extensive exchange program during the time H. E. Ahles was curator (1966-1981), but the focus is on Western Massachusetts and New England. Other well-represented geographical areas include Eastern North America and the tropical pacific (Collections largely from O. Degener and A. C. Smith).

Historically important collections include the Massachusetts State Herbarium, collected prior to 1850; the 15,000 specimen collection of W. W. Denslow (1826-1868); the W.D. Clark and D. P. Penhallow Collection, made in Sapporo, Japan in 1876-1877, when Clark was helping to establish the Sapporo Agricultural College (later Hokkaido University); and the 25,000 specimen collection of Addison Brown (1830-1913). The Brown collection has specimens collected by Pringle, Parish, J. T. Howell and A. A. Heller, and includes many type specimens.

Collections of local interest include those of A. S. Goodale and colleagues from the Swift River Watershed, much of which is now under the Quabbin Reservoir, the New England collections of H. E. Ahles and the collection from Deerfield and adjacent towns by Roberta G. Poland.

Incorporated herbaria include Amherst College Herbarium (AC), started in 1829 by Professor Edward Hitchcock and one of the oldest herbaria in the country,and the Phippen-LaCroix Herbarium (TUFT), acquired in 1998.

The macroalgae herbarium is a combined collection of specimens collected in the Pan-Arctic by Professor Emeritus of Phycology at the University of Massachusetts, Robert T. Wilce, and historic collections from Amherst College, in particular those of Timothy Field Allen, who was responsible for an early treatment of North American Characeae.

The University of Massachusetts herbarium with partner herbaria across the northeast have digitized the New England Vascular Plants and the macroalgae, both funded by grants from the National Science Foundation’s grant program Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections.

Type Specimens

We have cataloged 1214 type specimens from our collection. Many of the types are from the herbarium of Addison Brown LL. D. (1830-1913) which was given to Amherst College in 1915. Most types in the catalog have been checked against electronic type catalogs of the Harvard University Herbaria (HUH) the Smithsonian (US) or the New York Botanical Garden (NY). Other verifications are indicated by the name of the person doing the verification.

Types from the following families have been catalogued:

Acanthaceae, Alismaceae, Amaranthaceae, Amaryllidaceae, Apiaceae, Apocynaceae, Arecaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae, Bromeliaceae, Burseraceae, Campanulaceae, Capparaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Cistaceae, Commelinaceae, Convolvulaceae, Crassulaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Cyperaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Gentianaceae, Juncaceae, Liliaceae, Lythraceae, Malvaceae, Onagraceae, Piperaceae, Rubiaceae, Santalaceae, Sapindaceae, Symplocaceae, Theaceae, Verbenaceae.

Collection Pages

Images of herbarium specimens collected by William S. Clark and David P. Penhallow during their voyage to Japan in the late 1800s.

Checklist of Vascular Plants from the Holyoke Range Massachusetts, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts

Roberta Poland taught mathematics and physics at Deerfield Academy, Deerfield MA and was an active and dedicated botanist. This catalogue is based on the specimens from the Deerfield area.

The Feed, Seed, and Fertilizer Control Department (FSFC) Botanical Collection consists of over 10,000 botanical specimens of seeds, and fruits gathered over the last 100 years.

The Plant Pathology Herbarium from the Department of Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences contains specimens that are catalogued and can be searched by pathogen, common pathogen name, or common name of the host.

Curator: Dr. Tristram Seidler

My research has focused on ecology and conservation of plants in tropical and temperate systems. I am interested in particular in seed dispersal in tropical forests, and its consequences for spatial and population dynamics of trees; the effects of invasive plants on native plant communities; climate change effects on plant reproduction and population biology; rare plant conservation in New England; and the role of herbarium data in improving our understanding of climate change and the spread of invasive species.

Collections Manager: Roberta Lombardi