About

The TEX and LL herbaria contain over 1,000,000 total specimens and are among the largest herbaria in the southwestern United States. The facility ranks 13th in size across the nation. About a quarter of the specimens were collected in Texas, the largest holdings of Texas plants in the world. Nearly half of the specimens are from Latin America, with an especially strong representation from Mexico and northern Central America. Presently the number of new specimens accessioned into the Plant Resources Center’s herbaria is growing at an approximate rate of 7,000 per year.

History

The origins of the Plant Resources Center date back to the 1890's when Frederick W. Simonds donated his plant collections. Over the years, collections from other collaborators including professor William L. Bray, Dr. Mary Sophie Young, Marshal Johnston, and Billie Turner, substantially increased the number of specimens. It was in the 1990's when the transfer of Dr. Cyrus L. Lundell's private collection brought up the collection close to the million of specimens, positioning the Plant Resources Center as one of the biggest plant collections in the Southwest United States. Go here for a detailed history of the Plant Resources Center.

Composition

The herbarium collection at UT contains many unique collections that are represented only here, or in very few other herbaria. Complete or nearly complete sets include the collections of Cyrus L. and Amelia Lundell, Marshall C. Johnston, James Henrickson, Robert Runyon, Elias Contreras, Percy H. Gentle, Eizi Matuda, and Billie L. Turner. The Plant Resources Center also has significant holdings of Donovan S. Correll, Sydney F. Blake, George B. Hinton and son, Harold N. Moldenke, Cornelius H. Muller, William A. Silvius, and Ivan M. Johnston, as well as significant holdings of Cyrus G. Pringle, Rogers McVaugh, and numerous other well-known plant collectors. Over 7,100 taxa are represented in the Type Collection.

Cabinet assembled

Taxonomic concentration

The collection excels in holdings of the large plant family Asteraceae (sunflower family) from around the world, with more than 200,000 sheets. This large concentration of composites is partly due to the acquisition of the S. F. Blake collection of Asteraceae by the Lundell Herbarium. This large private collection was assembled by one of the foremost Asteraceae workers of the 20th century. Because of his willingness to identify Asteraceae from throughout the world, Blake amassed not only a large collection, but a very diverse one, both systematically and geographically.

The Blake collection is intercalated with the very large TEX collection of mostly North American Asteraceae assembled by the 60 or more monographers (most students and faculty at UT, especially B. L. Turner and his students, as well as J. Panero) who have worked in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico over the last 40 years. Comparatively few of these collections have been widely distributed among other U.S. institutions.

Because of the research interests of the staff and graduate students, especially comprehensive collections have been, or are being, accumulated for the plant families Chloranthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Fagaceae, Krameriaceae, Lamiaceae, Polygalaceae and Rhamnaceae. Also strongly represented are the Boraginaceae, Poaceae, and Scrophulariaceae.

In the late 1980s, the acquisition of the Lundell herbarium (LL) added ca. 315,000 specimens to the Plant Resources Center’s collections. These were accumulated throughout his career by the well-known botanist and archaeologist, Cyrus L. Lundell, who collected many specimens and also acquired the personal herbaria of several other botanists. With this acquisition, the Plant Resources Center became a major resource for material of the angiosperm families Celastraceae, Eriocaulaceae, Myrsinaceae, Sapotaceae and Verbenaceae..

Location

The Plant Resources Center is located in the Main Building (aka. the Tower) on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Our main entrance is Room 127, located on the east hallway on the first floor (one up from ground). The collections are housed on eight floors within the building complex.

Access and Use

The herbarium is open for general use 8:30 A.M.-noon. and 1:00-5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. Visitors wishing to use the collection for research or plant identifications are welcome; appointments are preferred but not required (see visitor policy below). We encourage the use of our collections by both professional scientists and amateur plant enthusiasts and welcome faculty teachers, students, master naturalists and anyone else with an interest in collections-based botany or museum management. Visitors coming from off-campus by car should also request information on parking. Scientists wishing to consult the collections for extended periods may be furnished research space upon formal request to the Director or the Curator outlining their research objectives and funding sources. Scientists wishing to use material for studies that include sampling of specimens should consult our policy on the use of our collection for such studies.

Visitor Policy

The Plant Resources Center of the University of Texas is a scientific resource collection composed of the University of Texas Herbarium, the Lundell Herbarium, and associated reprint collections and facilities. The core of this institute is the collection of over 1,000,000 pressed, dried, preserved plant specimens from all parts of the globe, including the best herbarium collection of Texas plants anywhere, and one of the finest collections of Mexican plants in the United States. Some specimens are over 150 years old, including early Texas collections, although most are from the 20th Century.

The Plant Resources Center is a basic resource for research and education in plant classification and ecology. Our responsibility and challenge is to make the collection as useful as possible to those who need to use and consult it while maintaining its scientific value undiminished and even enhanced for future users. Unlike a library, every single specimen in an herbarium is irreplaceable.

The Plant Resources Center is an important public resource, and visitors are welcome. However, because of our responsibility to protect the specimens for future users, firsttime visitors who wish to consult the herbarium must first make an appointment with the Curator, who will give them a thorough introduction to the organization of the collection, the correct handling of specimens, and other basics of standard herbarium practice. Non-scientists will need to demonstrate a valid need to use the collection. Tours can also be arranged through the Curator.

For more information, please contact: Dr. George Yatskievych, Curator, 127D Main Building, (512) 471-5904

Search Database

Some content for the herbaria has not yet been migrated to this website. For legacy content, click here.